Driver’s Seat

You know, sometimes the creative flow slows down a bit from its typical frenetic pace.  Many years ago, that would’ve worried me.  As a younger man, I believed, however erroneously, that creativity was finite.  I figured that there would eventually come a time when I would run out of ideas or use up my supply of creativity.  I declared that I didn’t want to continue living if I couldn’t create something in some way.

I know that not to be true, now, of course.

Creativity is infinite.

With all the hours logged on my current WIP (Plummet) over the past couple of months, I thought I was making some real headway.  But when my regular schedule of work and dogs and life began to reassert themselves back into my daily life, writing seemed to slow down to a snail’s pace.

Uh oh, I thought. Those old fears threatened to sneak up on me once more.

When my creativity for a certain project seems to slow down or back off, it usually means that I took a wrong turn somewhere, or my Muse is trying to tell me to back off a little and rethink the story.  It’s a difficult thing to do, forcing myself to back off.

I love writing.  I especially love the part where the story opens up and swallows me, like it’s a great white whale.

But I do it because I know from experience that not backing off leads to some very unsatisfying writing sessions, where every word is like extracting a tooth and sentences don’t want to jibe together.  In other words, it totally and completely sucks deluxe.

So with Plummet, I have been reconsidering one of the storylines, deciding finally to make it purely backstory, as it doesn’t directly affect the main characters until the very end.  Once I decided to clear that away from the story, a sluice gate of ideas opened up and presented some very interesting variations on the story being told.  I’ve made a note of them, as I don’t want to rush the process, allowing all the ideas that are available a chance to make themselves known.

Today I printed out the entire novel, all thirty-nine chapters, and will proceed to read through and decide where these new elements would best be inserted.

Yeah, Monica’s driving today.  But it feels good, like there’s forward motion once more.

4 thoughts on “Driver’s Seat

  1. Christian~I know you are more disciplined than I am (you weighed in at 58 on the Monica scale), so I’m not worried about you. But I am still reading my draft I printed in October.

    First I began to read. Then came the red pen. Then arrows, sticky notes, bent pages. About 3/4 through I realized I had so much revision, I worried I would die before I could input it on the computer. So then came the input on computer, which is where I am now, three months later and still not finished the actual reading part. Is that Phoebe or just plain wacko?

  2. Tricia~ It doesn’t sound like either Monica OR Phoebe in this case. Most novels and stories are truly “written” during the rewrites, and because of that, it SHOULD take a longer time to go through in that manner. I’m going to blog a technique that really works for me. I’ll copy you with an email so you can perhaps benefit from it as well. I’ll post it today.

  3. John~ are you working on a graphic novel or screenplay? I’ve never used storyboards for novels, but that might be because my artwork is pretty much hilarious. 🙂

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