Seven Pages of Muddling

Now that my camp job is over, and now that I have a mere two weeks before school begins, I'm getting back into my writing routine of Three Hours Every Morning. The first of those three hours is spent journaling, and then the next couple of hours are spent reading (sometimes) and then working on the novel. I should try to spend all three working on the novel, but that takes too much out of me.

So anyway, when I first start novel-writing for the day, the first few paragraphs are usually what I call "muddle," a sort of aimless warming-up as I adjust from the real world to an imaginative one. But generally, the muddle will turn into something of real direction, and I'll write happily for four or five pages.

Today was nothing but muddle. I fear that most of the seven pages (and possibly all) will not make it to the revision. I just threw words on paper because I wasn't sure what the characters were supposed to say. Kind of like when you get into a conversation with someone at a party, and neither of you knows what to say, so it's just kind of awkward.

When I'm writing the scene, though, it doesn't have to be awkward. I can come back later, when I figure out what's to be said, and write it, and no one would ever have to know about the initial "awkwardness." My only problem this time was that I'd put off writing this scene for several days because I wasn't sure what was supposed to happen.

I know what I wanted to make happen before the scene (and it did), and I know what's to happen in the next scene, and I knew that this scene between the two needed to have certain features ... argh.

So today I thought to myself, "Self, you just need to write something. You can always come back to it later. Just get through this scene and on to the next. Once you're back on solid ground, maybe you'll get more perspective about this amorphous scene that you've been floating around in for a week."

That's what I did. I wrote seven pages of muddle. I got through the scene, mostly. I'm starting to feel the ground again, like I'm getting back to shore. This is good. I was stalled, and I don't think I'm going to be stalled anymore.

And I got to page 200 today! Page 201, actually! Life is good!

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