Friday, August 02, 2013

It's Fun to Be at the "I'm in Love with my Story" Stage

Writing a novel takes us through so many stages, some agonizing, but fortunately, some that are pure delight. I hate the stage where I am so sick of my manuscript that I never want to look at it again, which is where I'm at with my YA novel.

But oh, bliss. I've written 50+ pages of my new inspirational historical romance. I am in love with it, and with writing, again, although for the past week or two, I was feeling like, "Who needs it?"

It wasn't because of the writing, but because life felt so crowded with other priorities. It felt as if, should I have spent time writing, the writing would've prevented me from doing things I wanted more. Like having a clean house, and scrapbooking.

Well, I still haven't cleaned the house, or scrapbooked. These feelings rise to the surface mostly when I'm frustrated because I've been too busy to accomplish any of my priorities. 

But finally, and even though hubby was rained out of the harvest field yesterday and today, meaning he was hanging around the house, distracting me, I finally settled into getting some serious writing done.

I've discovered a couple of RWA contests that I could conceivably enter with the 50 pages of my new WIP, and that deadlines motivate me mightily.

I don't know why I hadn't realized that before. When I was a librarian, I was always working against deadlines. Deadlines for planning five weekly story times. Deadlines for planning special programs. Deadlines for planning 35 Summer Reading programs. Monthly book-buying deadlines. Deadlines for writing reports for the Board of Directors, and articles for the local newspaper.

Last night, when I saw that I *might* be able to whip 50 pages of my first draft into shape for a mid-August deadline, I suddenly perked up. Writing had suddenly taken on more meaning to me.

So I sat in my office all day today. Besides doing a load of dishes and putting them away, and washing, drying and folding three loads of laundry, (which, as far as housework goes, is quite negligible) I got this much done:

I revised 4000 words. From the revised scenes, I removed 200 words, a chunk of a scene that sort of seemed like it didn't belong when I wrote it. Sure enough, looking at it today, it super didn't. 

Since I hadn't even read the material since writing it over the past couple of weeks, it's very interesting to see what I wrote. I have no memory of it.

It feels very on target, and more intelligent than anything I could ever have dreamed up on my own. I give most of the credit to my study of Dramatica theory and its specific suggestions for this particular story form. Although, I suppose I should give my muse some credit, considering it's around the eleventh manuscript I've tackled over the past 20 years.

Total word count when I started revising this morning was 12,900. Total at the end of this work day was the same. Hundreds of words were replaced, sentences rearranged, but it's amazing that the word count is staying so stable. 

See the bliss I'm having?
Yeah, I know it won't last, but I'm loving it for as long as it does.

Here's what I love about my story:

Steam engines
Old Ford roadsters, tires rumbling over brick roads
Edwardian fashions
Victorian homes
Art Nouveau
Milking the cow
Diva princesses
Romantic  tomboys
Arrogant dowagers
Victorian pantries
Tea parties
Learning how to Dance
Attending a Gala
Alexander’s Ragtime Band
Pictures of wedding gowns clipped from the Sears & Roebucks catalog
Falling in a lake
Coming out of the rain
The Flim Flam Man
Jail house confessions
Arrogant dowagers coming clean
A Fourth of July wedding

What stage are you in, in writing your story? Whatever stage, I hope your writing is giving you pleasure, and a reason to keep on writing. 


  1. Congratulations! Sounds like progress is being made.

    Have a super weekend.


  2. Oh... I LOVE the list of items you love about this new storyline. It has me quite intrigued :)

  3. Hey, I enjoyed your list of what to love about your novel. Congratulations for being in that state. Those are the times that get you through the rougher periods.

  4. I go through periods of loving writing to hating it with no middle ground. I try to keep moving forward though (sometimes through gritted teeth).



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