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:~: Saturday, August 26, 2006 :~:

So Much For Progress

I finished chapter one. Finally. It was like pulling teeth. And now? Now I hate it.


I love the prologue, like the first scene, can't stand the second. It's boring. It's not unique. And now I'm stuck at the beginning of two because the second half of one is such a smelly stinker.

My wonderful CP said, "Just write. First chapters are allowed to stink." My perfectionist brain is rebelling though. No! No! No! First chapters can't stink! They have to hook. They have to be special. They're the only shot you have!

See my issues?

What happens in one sets the stage for two. So I'm back to the drawing board. So much for forward progress. Rewind to chapter one where I'll be reworking those 12 pgs I cranked out the last two days, praying something wonderful seeps into my brain in the process.

And you know what really stinks (among other things)? After I read this blog post, I now have serious connected story ideas circulating in my head from my last ms. Ideas I'd been keeping locked down tight until yesterday. Shane was happy without his own book (or so I thought). Limbo-land was good for him. But then he went and read that blog, and now he's getting all sorts of ideas and whispering them to me in the middle of the night when my already-scattered brain is trying to work out plot issues in chapter one of the WIP. (NOT his story.) The man is trying to take over, and I'm fighting him tooth and nail. I am NOT wasting my time on linked books until I know the first one sells. There's no point!

So this is me - going back to work on stinky chapter one. And trying to keep one overbearing detective on the back burner as long as I can. (And I don't even like writing about cops. He knows this!)

Wish me luck.


Blogger Theresa said...

Well, I think Joan probably meant that first chapters are allowed to stink on the first draft. lol

In fact, the entire first draft is allowed to stink.

I so understand what you're going through, though. I hate, absolutely HATE the first draft. My internal editor has seizure after seizure when I force myself to let go and move to the next scene. I just hate writing crap.

Yet, part of my problems with the last book I attribute to continually going back and fixing and revising before moving on.

So I promised myself I wouldn't do that again. This time around I'm determined to just pound this draft out as fast as I can. No looking/going back. Once its down, then I'll revise until Ilove it.

On connected books. I love connected books. The book I'm marketing right now is a planned series. But its set up so the second book will be able to stand on its own. So it could conceivably sell even if the first one doesn't.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Christine Keach said...

I agree with Theresa and your CP. First drafts of first chapters are allowed to stink! Don't panic. You can do this. Look at chapter 2 and write backward. What has to happen for the awesome chapter 2 to happen? Whatever you decide to do, just don't give up!

9:08 AM  
Blogger Edie said...

I agree with Theresa and Christine...but...I'm the same way as you. The first chapter sets the tone for the characters and the whole book. For me, it has to be *right* before I can go on.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks for the suggestions, girls. I spent a lot of time thinking about my hangup and realized chapter one wasn't the problem, it was where I was headed in chapter two that was causing the turmoil.

I started two in a different direction than I'd planned, and it's made all the difference. And with only a few minor changes in one, I think I'm on my way now.

I hope so at least!!!

1:15 PM  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

Good for you to stick with it and work things out!

But I know the feeling of someone knocking on your brain wanting to come out and play when you have other things to write! I want to get all three books of my spirit trilogy written before I move on to anything else, yet- a character from a book I've had semi-plotted for a while keeps poking her nose in and asking when she gets to come out and play. What doesn't help is the tone of the book will be a lot like the Marshal In Petticoats that I've been immersed in getting ready for print!

2:30 PM  
Blogger Karin Tabke said...

lol, Elisabeth, I so feel your pain. I generaly write through, my CP's can attest to the fact I give myself permission to write crap. But sometimes, ya gotta go back and make the beginning right on paper and in your head to proceed with the rest of the story. Good luck!

9:38 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Hey Eli,

It sounds like you've figure out what the hold up is, congrats-- now you can start pounding those pages out!! lol

9:52 PM  
Blogger Piper Lee said...

Don't forget about Shane.

(Says Piper, the selfish one. Who really likes Shane and thinks he's as hot as Rafe.) *Big Shit Eating Grin*

11:33 PM  
Blogger TJBrown said...

I like to go over first chapters a gazillion times. The first three actually. Then I just fly through the rest of them.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Karmela Johnson said...

Hey there, I just put a link from my blog to yours and to "Romance Worth Killing For." Great blog designs, btw.

10:56 AM  

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