Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Writing is Work

For those of you following along, you may know that I've been working on a new story. The creative part is fun, letting loose my imagination to create something that I hope will resonate with someone else and give  that someone a few hours of escape into a different place and another person's head.  The hard part is making it readable.

I tend to be a slap/dash kind of writer. I've tried to neaten up my style, to write "cleanly" through the process, but that doesn't work for me. I start with the kernel of an idea and go forward. Usually, that kernel of an idea barely resembles the finished product. To keep with the analogy, think of popcorn - before and after.

When I begin, I can see the story clearly in my mind, but on my first draft, I don't convey everything that needs to be said. This is where my critique group is invaluable. They point out my missing plot points and my character flaws, which I know intuitively, but which I haven't shown to the reader. Let me take this opportunity to thank them, because they stick with my stories through the "what the heck? That doesn't make sense or even remotely work," phase and quite often don't see the finished product.

My writing progress has slowed, largely due to the fact that as I near the end, I have to clean up some of that mess along the way so that the story makes sense. I still have lots of holes to spackle and paint over. That's the point where writing becomes work rather than fun. It also slows down the forward momentum, knowing that once you reach "the end," you have to start over and fix all the sloppy work that brought you to that point. I did revamp some of my beginning chapters while I was stalled out, and I've been procrastinating by  consulting authoritative guidance for some of my plot points. A part of me is anxious to finish so that I can go back and tend to the messy spots, while the common sense part of me knows that once I begin that process, it will be slow and laborious.

The original inspiration of The Shoemaker and the Elves has long since fallen by the wayside, although it did help me to name my characters. I have no concept for a title at the moment, and yet with a little luck, this book  will be finished by the fall. I am anxious to finish, with two story ideas pushing it forward.

Which brings me to my final question. Which story comes next?  Cinda's story (from Living Canvas), or Kundigerin 2 (part 2 of Mist on the Meadow)?

Back to work . . .


  1. Being a non-writer, I never realized all the steps you go through. I always thought once you had the idea the mechanics would fall in place. haha - I'm a mechanics type of person, but coming up with the creative idea would be the stumbling block for me. Guess it's good I've never tried to write a book. Very interesting post Karla. Thanks for sharing those insights. Anyone of your three proposed books would be good. Maybe start with the oldest first.

  2. Busily working on those mechanics...