Thursday, March 12, 2009

Avoiding the Hard Stuff Never Works

I sat down today to work on Conventional Demon with a two-hour block ahead of me and no interruptions in sight. Not a one. I double-checked my email. No new mail. Checked the clock. Resisted checking blogger. Read through some notes. Checked the clock. Three minutes had passed. Thought of a great post idea. Refused to allow myself to be distracted into writing it.

Finally I had to face what I so clearly wanted to avoid: beginning the rewrites. While I was working on the scene-by-scene spreadsheet and making sure my story had all the elements of a good hero's journey (and all the scenes), I didn't have to face the daunting task of conforming old scenes into new rhythms, adding new transitions, and writing entire new scenes. I felt like I was making progress, and it was relatively easy. Now I'm faced with the hard stuff, and I really, really wanted to put it off. Fortunately, my overdeveloped sense of self-discipline kicked in, and two hours later, I'm typing this blog.

I had plans today to work on the first scene. I got about ten minutes into it and realized that I needed to understand Madison's motives better to make the scene really work--something I'd been trying to gloss over during the last several rewrites. That alone should have been a sign to me: If there's anything I'm trying to ignore or avoid, it's going to come back and bite me. I should just work through these things the first time. If I had, it would be so much easier now.

So I spent nearly two hours working on Madison's motivation. Three pages of notes later, I think I have it. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get more than two paragraphs into the rewrites.


Ashley said...

Oh, I totally get what you're talking about. Believe me. I avoided a scene for several months once because I couldn't stand looking at it anymore, much less rewriting it anymore. Then, I avoided finishing a scene for 6 months because I was stuck.

Rewrites are a pain, I completely sympathize. Good luck, though! When you finally do get to them, that is. ;-)

Rebecca Chastain said...

I just have to keep reminding myself that I want to make money as an author, so I need to actually get published. That's usually a good motivation. It's what got me through yesterday. :)