Is that title a bit confusing? Well good because the phenomenon it describes is ten times as irritating as it is confusing. It describes a problem that can happen when you’re in the middle of writing your story. Not physically in the middle like 50% done, though that may be the case. I mean in the middle of it, in the heat of writing. That time where the story is flowing naturally, the words are pouring out, characters are doing wonderful things and everything is going so well.
And then you have to stop and work on another project for whatever reason.
This just happened to me while writing Lockheed Elite. I was 35-40% in when I got Pandora’s Chase back from the editor for final drafting. In all honesty it was a good time for me to switch projects as I was a few chapters ahead on Lockheed Elite. This gave me a few months to work on something else while the completed chapters were posting each month at a time so I switched to Pandora’s Chase to finish it up.
And so I did.
I final drafted Pandora’s Chase which was a huge accomplishment for me (first novel). Then I began the process of querying agents and publishers. I sent out tons of queries and reached the point of waiting. And waiting. And waiting…while that process works itself out. So that was the time for me to get back to Lockheed Elite. I still had one chapter in the bag yet to publish which gave me plenty of time to write the next chapter, revise and edit it. Simple, right?
Not even close.
I found it damn near impossible to get back to the state of mind I was in when I stopped a few months back. When you write, especially when you discovery write like I do, there are things in my head that are queuing up much like a sack of frosting being squeezed through a bakers funnel unto a beautiful delicious cake (my story). Things are lining up great getting ready to make their appearance, the recent story is fresh on the cake, the story to come is fresh in my sack of frosting (my head), and I have the perfect pressure squeezing out a chapter every other week. Awesome!
Enter the Crushing of the Writing Momentum…The revision process of Pandora’s Chase.
So I stop working on Lockheed Elite effectively leaving the cake unfinished and the frosting sitting in the sack. I thought all would be great. I’d finish PC and get back to LE.
Everything dried out and hardened and now back at it months later, the story is more difficult than ever to squeeze out of my head. The story has become dry and distant in my head. I’ve changed since I last worked on it. My love for Lockheed Elite changed, even my desire to write changed.
And so Lockheed Elite suffers as a result. The story suffers, the characters are different, I’m different and everything feels lame now.
So what do I do? What’s the fix? Because all writers hit this at some point in most or all of their projects.
Here’s my solution and it’s working right now. I have the ability to create an eBook right out of my writing software (Scrivener) and so I made a small eBook of the completed portion of Lockheed Elite. Chapters 1-8 (40% of the book). I do this so I’m not tempted to edit AT ALL, and grabbed my iPad and sat down to read it. No editing is allowed for this process to work so a PDF will work too. You can print it out if you wish but lock all pens and pencils away before you get started.
Sit and read your story. Get into it as much as you can.
Read it twice or three times if you have to so that it is fresh in your head. This works because you once loved your story, and so you will again. Read it, read it and read it until you get that feeling back. You know the one. The one that says, “I have to write. I have this story in my head and I have to write it down. NOW!!”
And so you do it.
Boom! I really hope this works for you, it is for me.
Until next time friends,