After feeling some anguish after yesterday’s writing experience, I am feeling quite good today. Yesterday, I had belabored the fact that I introduced a new character. The introduction of the character or the timing of it, both of which were unplanned, had the brutal effect of bringing my writing flow to a screeching halt. I struggled to write afterward. And it was no fun at all.
Today, yesterday’s problems were just that. Today was a fresh start in the middle of a chapter. The story flowed easily, and ironically, I spent some of it writing about the new character. It was as if his introduction turned out not only to be well-timed, but also managed to bring a new angle to the plot that drummed up a worthwhile scene. It just goes to show that sometimes, the story works itself out.
It was a slow weekend of writing for me. I wrote a total of only 400 words between Saturday and Sunday. Not stellar, but at least I kept things moving forward. I encountered a problem which halted my writing flow to a snail’s pace. The problem was my decision to add an unplanned character.
As I write this I realize how ridiculous that sounds, that adding a character could cause a problem with my writing process. But it did. I think it was not so much the addition of this person as it was the timing of it. I introduced him at a point in the story that in hindsight, was maybe not a good time. I am now trying to tamp down the urge to go back and re-write it. But I will not. I will wait, I will wait, I will wait. Write now, edit later. Write NOW, edit LATER. (Yes, you’ve heard me chant this before because I literally need to remind my obsessive-compulsive, hyper-editing self over and over and over. And yes, it works.)
Now that I have added this new character, who has a small role to fill, I will need to later decide whether to cut him out completely or change the timing of his introduction. I foresee another slowing of progress because of this, but I suppose that is okay. It’s all part of the creative process and I must embrace the bad with the good. And who knows, maybe later when I read it I’ll think the character’s introduction is brilliant in timing. Or not. And if THAT flip-flopping chain of thought isn’t incentive enough to wait to edit later, I don’t know what is.
When I sat down to write tonight, I wasn’t feeling up for a long session of writing. I told myself to just write a few sentences and see what happens. If I wrote anything at all, that was still something. The first 300 words were slow and forced. I decided I could stop there, but instead I just took a break and sat down again. Another 100 words. It was flowing a little easier. And then something clicked. Before I knew it, I was past 1,000 words and felt like I could continue writing for quite some time. If it wasn’t for the late hour, I would have.
This is the kind of writing I love, when the flow kicks in and I get lost in the story. My fingers type away almost involuntarily as my imagination takes off. I live for this. It’s what brings me back to the page tomorrow. I must remember the next time I’m not really feeling it that I just need to start writing and maybe something will click. Hope for the flow, and the rest will come.