Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Let's get to the point.

Here's my Tuesday truth, a day late and a few dollars short: I'm halfway into my rough draft, and I haven't made any progress.

Okay, so that's not exactly true. I did revamp my plot, fine-tune my conflict, kill off a few darlings (sorry, my dears!), come up with a pretty wicked outline (thanks to the ladies over at Plot This and an amazingly helpful plotting device), and draft a preliminary query and synopsis (jumping the gun, I know, but it helps me focus).

But now that I've done all of the above, I realize the first third of my book is backstory. Which is precisely why I'm stuck, why I've been staring at a Word document for the past 2 weeks without making any progress.

I love my characters. I love their story. But no one else will if I can't shut the hell up and say what I mean, already.

So I'm starting from scratch. Except, I like to think of it as cooking brownies from a box: I have all the dry ingredients. Now I just have to thicken them up, blend them together, and make them sweat.

Or something like that.

What about you?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Have you ever gotten the bug?

You know the one. It's the Shiny New Idea sickness. When it strikes, you have to drop everything you're doing because this idea? It's OMG The Next Big Thing and no one has EVER done anything so cool before and it will make you famous it's just that good ... except it isn't. And discovering that? Well, it sucks something hard.

Jim Benton said it best, I think. Here are his wise words, reported by the SCBWI blog team (and I'm still super jealous that I missed out on this conference ...):

Jim talks about the rush of getting a new GREAT idea that you drop all other projects for to work on RIGHT NOW. And then... once you've worked on it a bit you realize it is AWFUL. Don't be paralyzed by your stupid ideas, you won't know they're stupid at first, just let all ideas in and eventually the good ones will make themselves known.

Genius, isn't it?