Waiting for "The Call"

“Honey, it’s always crap. Every book I write is crap. It’s my job to fix the crap afterwards,” according to Nora Roberts. Well, I've got it half right. Still working on the "fixing it" part. "Trust your characters to be complex enough and to have enough emotional baggage. Force them to make hard choices." Advice from Michelle Styles that might help!

Long wait! July 11, 2010

Filed under: Writing and Life — Autumn Macarthur @ 10:21 pm
Tags: , ,

I haven’t posted for a while, mainly because there hasn’t been much happening on the writing front. Lots of Day Job and Real Life getting in the way, sometimes in good ways like the wonderful weekend away in Devon dh and I had last week, but nowhere near  as much writing as I need.

I called the blog “Waiting for the Call”, well it’s going to be a flipping long wait the way I’m going!

I’m plugging on with the rewrite of Lock and Cady’s story, but still don’t have the partial together yet. Chapters One and Two came relatively easily, and I honestly think they are the best things I’ve ever written (that doesn’t mean I’m claiming they are good, but they most certainly are better than what I’ve done before). Chapter Three is like pulling teeth without anaesthetic- slow and painful. Plus it’s not even much good. It should be strong and powerful and emotional, instead it’s just- meh. Cliched body language, no real depth of feeling, it’s depressing me to the point of wanting to give up. I keep slogging on with it, but the slow rate is half the problem- at a couple of hundred words a day I’m not getting into the character enough to get the emotion that’s needed.

I’m setting up unrealistic expectations for what is really more first draft, of course, and that’s what’s wrecking my motivation to write. I need to give myself permission to write the dreckiest chapter ever,  as long as I get the story moving again. It can always be fixed.

Not that I’m completely unmotivated, but my motivation tends to be strongest when it’s hardest to write. Like one day last week coming home from work on the train. Yet again there were problems with the trains and as the earlier train was cancelled, my train had twice as many people on it was usual. Which meant standing up all the way, in my curved sole exercise shoes, trying to stay upright as the train swayed and I rocked crazily, unable to hold on because I was balancing my netbook in one hand while I typed with the other! Other days when I had a seat and could easily have typed, I read the paper instead.

Today, when I had time to write, I found other things far more urgent, like clearing out my wardrobe. No words written, though I do have some space in my wardrobe and a pile of clothes to sell on ebay. This was the toughest round of decluttering- the quality clothes or things I loved that just aren’t right for me any more. All the easy to let go of stuff went to the charity shop weeks ago. It’s good space clearing, but that’s not helping the story any.

Maybe the declutter will be good feng shui or something. Sure hope so. And I sure hope I don’t come up with more excuses and delaying tactics next day off work when I could write. The actual act of subbing is getting too close and too real and far too scary, so I’m procrastinating. Anything to avoid that long painful wait with the rejection at the end.

I think I named the blog well. I will always be waiting, until I find the guts to sub.


8 Responses to “Long wait!”

  1. Jane – those chapters ARE good. But I know what you mean about the next one feeling like pulling teeth. I have times like that. And yep, it can be fixed. You can do it!
    But you have to sub. I’ve got to the stage where NOT having something out there is the worst part. 🙂

  2. Jane, I totally relate. I spend so much time thinking about my story, frustrated by the fact it isn’t coming together the way I want it to, and knowing it’s not good enough. That leads to avoidance and I find all kinds of other things to do – which are just excuses.

    No matter how long it takes, the important thing is you are doing it – and eventually you will get where you need to be.

  3. You can do it! I have great faith in you accomplishing this … so long as you don’t let yourself off the hook.

  4. Jessica Says:

    Though it’s debatable that I know what I’m talking about at all (*grin*) I wanted to leave a note of encouragement.

    I sent a query letter for the very first book I finished sometime around February. It was soundly rejected and quite frankly, the query letter was unprofessional, and my story thin & cliched.

    By the time I submitted my next query letter, I’d done some studying, and wrote a professional letter + synopsis. I was asked for my full Manuscript. Sure that my MS would propel me to publishing, I was shocked (!) when I received it back with a rejection letter (generic at that).

    Now I am on my new manuscript (simply couldn’t deal with rewriting the last…) and I’m finding out this writing thing is a lot harder than I expected. But I’m to the point that I am so excited to be learning, and gleaning from others, reading my faves and taking their advice (thank you SARAH MAYBERRY!!!).

    Keep at it. As I used to tell my team @ work: a surefire way to success has three steps:
    1) Don’t quit
    2) Don’t quit
    3) Don’t quit

    Best of luck to you! Stop by my blog any time!

  5. waitingforthecall Says:

    LOL, Jessica, you haven’t quit so that makes you eminently qualified to comment! Good luck with the current story. I adore Sarah Mayberry’s stories, but she’s so darned good it’s depressing!

    Yay for small steps- over 600 words today and a nice realisation on one of the heroine’s relationship blocks I hadn’t picked up on before, despite the Day from Hell at work. Day off tomorrow so I’m not letting myself off the hook- first draft of chapter three is to be finished by the end of the day!

  6. jodylynnallen Says:

    you;ll get there. It seems to me that every time i sit down to write that i too find facebook, twitter, ebay, etc more appealing than working on my story as well. But i keep telling myself that im not getting any younger and that i’d like to be published and get going to nationals again while i can still enjoy it.
    Nationals aside, i’ve gotten back into mine recently and i’m bloggin about it, etc, trying to hold myself accountable for finishing that damned book and subbing too. We’ll both get there, just dont quit. tell your inner critic to go to hell and plug away at those words.

  7. Jane Holland Says:

    I re-subbed to M&B this morning. Took a real effort to finally click Send, I can tell you. But it had to be done. You rewrite and polish for months, then eventually you just think, ‘Right, that’s enough! Get this ms out of my house!’ and the relief once it’s gone is enormous.

    Go on, you can do it! If we can, you certainly can!


  8. waitingforthecall Says:

    Good luck! I have my fingers crossed for you!

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