Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I Cried Uncle Elizabeth Last Weekend!

Uncle Elizabeth was the name of a cat from this movie.

A new twist on a tired phrase. You know, when you finally give up because either you're over matched, under trained, outwitted, outfoxed or just simply banging two bricks on your head in a futile attempt at making music. I suppose I could say, "I cry Auntie!" but really, does it mean the same thing? Does it have the same oomph as Uncle?

I think not.

Memorial Day weekend. I decided to spend some quality time in catching up on my writing. So I did. Problem was that the further along I got with my writing, the more I realized that the passion/motivation/spark simply wasn't there anymore for my current project, Dandelion Tears. So after I got done transcribing 8 handwritten pages to my computer, I reluctantly took the floppy (yes, I still use those things) out of the driver and put it away. I took the hard copy (all 90+ pages) and stuck it in my purple bin of trunk novels.

After I made everything all whitey tighty, I was left with the sticky problem of what to work on next. I mean, everything else that I had scattered about was in various stages of decompostion: a couple of novels, a few novellas, a longish short story, and three or four short stories.

So after giving it a lot of thought, I took out the incomplete full length version of Betrayed! to work on. I dusted off the floppy, checked the date the last time that I'd actually worked on it (2009) and made preparations to retype all 11 chapters, and possibly find a way to use the chapbook as an outline to finish the novel.

However, after shutting down my computer for the early evening break (I use my computer in two hour spurts), I thought about the task that lay ahead of me: lots and lots of rewriting and eventually trying to find a way to incorporate the chapbook into the final version of the novel without making the novel look like I was simply phoning the last part in.

Conclusion? No f'n way did I want to go through that aggravation at this particular point in my writing adventure.

So back to the purple den of inequity went the novel. To replace that novel, I took out the novel that I'd originally put aside in January 2010 when the spark of Line 21 hit me.

A Lascivious Limbo

I spent Memorial Day enjoying the hot steamy weather re-familiarizing myself with the book. I did some general editing, a tiny bit of brainstorming for a character name change, and believe it or not, I found myself becoming quite interested in seeing what was going to happen next.

To refresh your memory on what this book is all about, please click here.

In any event, I got a new project to work on. Well, not really new since I put the thing aside almost a year and a half ago, but it's something that looks like I'll be motivated to work on again. The best part is that its about three-quarters finished, so all I got to do is write a couple of key scenes and tidy up a few loose ends.

Sometimes writing what you need, instead of writing what you want, isn't the be all to end all. If you write what you want, you'll find that your stress and aggravation levels will have one less thing to feed off of.

Now if I only could get motivated in reformatting Line 21......

14 comments:

  1. I'm working on an old manuscript right now too. I hadn't looked at it in a couple of years, and it's amazing to see how my writing's changed in time. So I'm immersed in a renovation right now ...

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  2. I'm having a bit of motivation problem at the momemnt myself. I'm about to take myself out on the deck and do battle with it.

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  3. I think that you being excited about what you are writing about and looking forward to what is going to happen next is the key to writing something you will be pleased and happy with.

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  4. Joanne: I agree with your statement about how one's writing can change over the years.

    The comparison between this particular story and the original short story that I'm using as an outline is nothing short of remarkable. The only reason why I gave up on it to begin with was that I was having a problem writing a couple of scene that would bridge to an ending that wasn't originally envisioned when I'd started it.

    Charles: The motivation for this one was slowly going downhill as I was doing less and less wrting on it over the past couple of months, until finally while I was writing the last scene (that I really didn't like when I'd finished) in question I made the decision to put it away.

    Hopefully writing this one will help me jumpstart the submissions process with Line 21

    Lynn: Without a doubt. The last book I wrote the spark and motivation was there from the beginning to the very end. I'm hoping that the same will happen with this one.

    I'm already having a blast doing the edits and writing notes, which was severely lacking in my last project.

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  5. i can feel your pain...

    every time i read the crap that i call my guy book i think...i really need to fix that or this...

    and then i cut and paste it to the blog...without the edits it really deserves...

    i love the idea of 2 hour increments and floppy discs...

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  6. Bruce: The two increment limt is due to the fact that I have a notebook/laptop computer, so I'm paranoid about the thing overheating.

    As for floppies, just call me a Luddite. I enjoy using floppies, they're pretty cheap and the external drive only cost me about $35.

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  7. I've having a hard time getting motivated to submit, but it's more inertia than anything else.

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  8. R: Mine isn't so much inertia as simply loathing to do so much work for a submission.

    Guidelines for one particular publisher feature the following:

    rtf or doc (fine)
    12pt TNR, Cambria or Georgia (fine)
    Line spacing 1.5 (okay)
    Margins 1 (okay)
    No double spaces or extra returns between paragraphs (?)
    No tab for indenting, use the word processing function for tabbing (are you kidding me?)
    Page breaks between chapters (because they want the manuscript as one long document)

    It's things like this (every publisher is different) that are really not making me submit my book.

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  9. You caught me. I freaking HATE researching every single fucking thing and then doing it differently every single time.

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  10. R: Believe me, I understand where you're coming from.

    I have a separate folder entitled "E-Publish" that will eventually be the home of multiple versions of the same thing.

    And just like when I wrote my query and synopsis, I'll eventually get so fed up that I'll simply sit down in front of my computer and spend the next couple of hours slamming it out.

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  11. I understand exactly where you are coming from G. Writing is a such a frustrating business - mine ebbs and flows like yours between one project and another - I wish I had the discipline to see one through to the end - at least you've done that! And you're right too - publishers make it so darn difficult with all there little personal demands- like spoilt children! It wouldn't be so bad if you knew your MS was going to be properly considered but when you put in a lot of effort for a bog standard reply it's pretty disheartening. I'm about (when I say "about" - I mean probably in 4 weeks or more) to send off two short stories; the only reason I haven't done it yet is having to go the tedious process of writing that totally insincere covering letter...:))

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  12. Jane: For me, writing the cover/query letter for a short story is about the only thing I can do without stressing out.

    It can just be so mind numbingly aggravating with some of the requirements that publishers/agents have.

    The real reason why they do it, I think, boils down to one inescapable fact: they want to see if you can follow instructions.

    No matter how boffo you think your manuscript is, they won't even give it the time of day if you don't follow their instructions to the letter.

    Mine is ebbing and flowing alright. Since I decided to start work on this project two weeks ago, I still haven't written a single word. Been busy editing, tweaking, brainstorming and trying to get all the various plot points sorted out so that I can figure out just exactly what I'm writing.

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  13. For myself, if I'm not into what I'm writing, it's got no flow and it feels like I'm banging my head in with a hammer. But when I am into what I'm writing, even when it's frustrating, it just feels right. You get in the zone and it's zippity-doo-dah.

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  14. Talon: Absolutely. If you have to force it, it just doesn't work.

    And when you're in that zone, even if as you say you're getting frustrated, everything is still gelling the way you want it to.

    That was the main problem with my last project. It was becoming forced and no matter how I approached it, I simply couldn't get it to gell.

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Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

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So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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