Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Slushing Through

I have to admit that work these days feels like trudging through slush. I had a fab summer and recharged the batteries which is good, because in typical fashion several things landed on my desk at once, all needing fairly immediate attention. While I determined to do a "chunk" on my wip every day as I went along, I have had to put that aside for a week or so. I had some admin that couldn't wait. My kids needed clothing for school, especially the eldest as by the end of the summer she had one pair of jeans that fit. I am in the middle of hefty revisions and I also received edits on another book. Yesterday's schedule ended up being 9 solid hours of work followed by shopping followed by me bringing clothes in off the line by moonlight and doing dishes before going back to work at my desk.

But there's something good about it too.  For one, I did my edits yesterday and was reminded of how much I love that book (Breathe, coming out in November). I came very close to crying near the end which is a good sign. I was dead tired last night but determined to do some work on my other revisions (and finally threw in the towel at midnight).  As I neared the end of the chapter, I wrote a line that had the effect of a choir of angels singing in my ear. LOL. It was just a line, an emotional beat of introspection by the hero. But it suddenly opened things up for a scene I have to insert later on. That one line works hard. It foreshadows. It carries thematic weight. It even sets up a good part of the hero's character arc. And I didn't even plan to write it.

Sometimes magic happens. That's the beauty of writing. You can plan a book as much as you want but you can't plan for these little nuggets of awesomeness. I could probably say that they are completely random, but I don't think they are.  I think that it is all in a writer's subconscious, waiting for the perfect time to come out. What is frustrating is when they don't come out and you feel like there is something missing. And that is why it is so important to refill the well.

Once I get past the next few chapters, I don't think the revisions are going to take me as long. I hope to finish the first pass tomorrow and then let it sit for a day or two before re-reading and polishing and sending it back.

The title of the blog has other significance too.  Check out my pal Jenna's post at The Pink Heart Society - she does the "Slushing Through" column each month. She's got a really wise, honest post up there today that I think all writers should read, whether they are published or unpublished.

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