Saturday, April 16, 2011

When things go wrong...

I'm doing all those exciting things authors or want-to-be writers do, laundry, dusting, moping. Oh, the life of a "domestic diva" right?

Yet, in the middle of my well planned chaos, the weather radio breaks into a blaring beep to announce severe weather. So, I pause and go down my "mom" check list to make sure all is secure.

So, you might ask, what does this have to do with writing?

Well, sometimes, no matter how well we plan sh* t happens. You know what I'm talking about. You have your outline. Your characters are chatting working well together and all of a sudden - ZIP! ZAP! BOING! The story turns or your mind goes blank and you look at your manuscript wondering what happened.

Instead of your motherly checklist, it's time to pull out the arsenal in your writer's toolbox.

First, if you've written yourself into a corner - step back. Push your chair away from the computer screen and hide the delete key. Remember only a written manuscript can be fixed. Do not delete. Go off dust, take a walk, and terrorize your cat by trying to interest him or her in a toy. If you are away from the screen or your source of stress, the idea might come to you.

Another strategy is to pull out all those index cards or posty notes and look at a way of rearranging them. Is there a new or better out come? Can I create a turn that will cause my characters to really grow and change for the better bringing their relationship full circle?

Or after letting it rest, re read the part, chapter, first half, whatever you've done. I've been known to print the offending pages out and go outside under a tree with my purple pen and tweak.

Whatever you do, remember all disasters can be cleaned up. Yes, like anything else it takes hard work. But, we're writers and that's what we do. Hang in there.
Ok, time for me to crawl under the kitchen table and wait for the storms to pass. I know it's going to be ok, cause I have faith in me.
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