Friday, May 15, 2009

Hold My Hand

Finishing this ms is like wading through molasses. Every time I think I'm starting to move faster, get closer- it happens. The molasses glues my feet in place and I have to struggle through every centimeter.

I wish my muse was more helpful. See, I like to think of muses as babysitters- and writers are just little kids. Only my babysitter is watching House instead of helping me plow through my story.

This is what's happening:

Me: (Typing) '"What have you decided?" Dante asked.' ........

*Alt-tabs to THE INTERNETS.

Me: I haven't checked my blogger in, like, 10 minutes. I wonder if someone posted a new blog. I wonder if I have comments.

*Checks Blogger, nothing new.

Me: I wonder if there are any new Youtube videos up.

*Checks Youtube. Nothing new.*

Me: I haven't checked my email in a while...

...This goes on quite a bit. I usually find some new blog, or some new writing site to keep me occupied for a couple hours. I want to be speeding through my ms and getting out this draft so I can start refining it. And because I'm not yet done with that huge step, I'm getting impatient. I'm getting discouraged. There's just so much work that goes into it...

What I need, is something more along the lines of this:

Me: (Typing) '"What have you decided?" Dante asked.' ...

*Alt-tabs to THE INTERNETS.

Muse: Hey! What are you doing?

Me: Um, checking Blogger?

Muse: I don't think so. You should be writing.

Me: But I don't know what to write!

Muse: That's where I come in.

*Closes window and returns to manuscript.

Muse: So what happens next? Dante asks for a decision, what's the response?

Me: Well, Gwen tells him that she decided to go.

Muse: Okay, write that down.

*Fingers click across the keyboard as the paragraph is written.

Muse: Then what? How does Dante react to her decision? Is he mad, happy, confused? What does Dante say?

Me: Hmm... he's surprised, but he doesn't say anything right away. James would interrupt, he would be mad.

Muse: Okay, write that down. What does James say?

*More keystrokes as the paragraph is written.

Muse: Wow, he is pretty mad. How does Gwen react to this outburst?

Me: Hmm... oh, wow- she wouldn't react, because now Dante is reacting. Let's see, what would he do? ...He would insult James, he would tell Gwen she made the wrong decision. He would tell Gwen that James wasn't worth it.

Muse: Wow, quick, write that down.

*Tappity tap tippity tap tap (That's the sound my keyboard makes)

Muse: Ok, so what happens next?

Me: Well, Gwen's not too happy with either of the guys... but James was already mad, so he definitely has something to say to Dante.

Muse: What does he say?

Me: Oh my... he's not going to say anything. James is going to take a swing at Dante!

* * * * * * *

Hmm, well that was an interesting experiment. I am now jumping out of my chair with excitement to write. So I guess this post does two things: One, it provided me with an outlet to rant, that accidentally turned into a post that helped me continue my story. (Dante's line "what have you decided..." is actually exactly where I left off- I haven't written these reactions yet.)

And two, I gave myself some good advice. When you're stuck, just go slow. One sentence at a time. Just keep asking 'What happens next?'. You could even type up a transcript of an imaginary conversation between you and your imaginary friends as they help you with your manuscript. Hey, it worked for me.

And before you know it you'll be breaking up fistfights between two of your main characters. Those are always exciting.

Well, I've got to jet, I've got a fight scene to write. :)


  1. Wow. This sounds SOOOOO familiar! Scary.

    I love your advice of taking it slow. That usually works for me, too. Thanks!

  2. This is very similar to what I do, too!

    You can tell great minds think alike ;)

  3. My muse has been on vacation for a few weeks. I think it left me for another writer. *sigh* I miss conversations like this...

  4. Yikes. Like so many others here, I completely agree with your thoughts and feelings. Damn the muse can suck sometimes.

  5. delightful sequence :) and great advice for all of us, esp me. there are some days i have to babysit myself, get the old laptop out that doesn't have internet access, and just plunk myself down rather sternly :D