Remembering my Process

I started this weekend with the knowledge that it was as good as the end of the month. The first week of summer camps start at the barn on Monday and I will be back to working full time to help you. I knew if I was going to finish my rough draft of The Huntsman before June like I planned, I was going to have to get most of it done this weekend.

I got a lot done on Saturday. Almost 3k words and some revision. On Sunday I wrote a different version of a scene which I thought created more conflict but no longer worked with some of the character tie-ins I had gotten out of the first version of the scene. And that sent me into a spiral of self-doubt where I questioned everything to the point where I was ready to change something fundamental about the world in an attempt to fix it.

My husband noticed my distress and tried to help me outline the story, but that ended up to be too daunting a task for a Sunday afternoon. Instead I gave him the first 45k words (which are in a ‘readable’ state, as opposed to the rest of the book which is a complete mess) to read. While he was reading I went back to look at what I had given him to see how much of a mess it actually was.

While there, I ended up reorganizing it into draft 4 and after reading the beginning, I reminded myself that I am actually a good writer and that working on the second half of the book is just my biggest weakness. This ‘omg, nothing will ever work’ is what happened with Shifting Winds (and why I gave up on it) and then happened again with The Storyteller. However, I plowed through that draft anyway and eventually wrote the second half over to get a book I absolutely love.

With that reminder, I was able to write several scenes with which I was completely happy. (They came out of nowhere too. I love being a discovery writer.) I just need to remember that whenever I hit that impassable wall in my story, I need to step back to read/revise the beginning and remind myself that I am good at writing before I dive back in. It’s funny because this book has been so different in the writing from The Storyteller that I didn’t think any of my process would be the same, but it is.

Do you have any situations where you struggle doing something only to finally remember to take a step back so you can go at it the right way?

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