When I started writing books, sometimes the words would just flow… It’s like my fingers magically know what to write, and they hit the keys with purpose. I can’t type fast enough. The story builds before my eyes, and I am in awe.
Other times I sit and stare at my computer screen. I mess around on the internet. I fuss with e-mail. Then I force myself to write, and the next day I delete all that I wrote.
What makes the difference? What makes one day better than another?
When I am stuck, and force the writing, I’m going in the wrong direction. It reminds me of a dog we had. He loved to go on walks. As he got older, when he got hot or tired, he’d simply stop. No warning, just stop and lay down. He was a 45 pound dog, so it wasn’t like we could pick him up to get him going like we could if he was a 10 or 15 pound animal. No, we had to wait until he’d decide he rested enough and was ready to go again.
That’s what it’s like when I force the writing, my muse is sitting down and digging in her heels. No, we aren’t going there. Not another step forward. I had that happen recently when I was editing. I was adding a new scene and it felt like I was trying to pull teeth. So I stopped, made myself a note that I needed to fix it, and when I came back later I found the direction I was to go in.
The other component, I think, is having a guideline. I don’t really do outlines, but general ideas. I’ve tried outlines, but they don’t work for me. Oh, it starts out fine, but then I veer off severely. I’ve found I have to work with general ideas. I know roughly what will happen. Sometimes, what I think will happen changes, and I have to do a new set of way posts. If I don’t put in a new set of wayposts, I go off track and start pulling teeth again.
I’ve read on the blogs of some of my favorite authors that the characters speak to them. I thought that was cool, but didn’t really understand it. But now…. perhaps it isn’t my muse digging in her heels, but my characters…..