Can you teach an old (and entrenched) brain new tricks? 2


Days to Dallas: 96 days, 23 hours

I’m taking two courses – Great Beginnings: How to introduce Irresistible Characters, and Writing with Sexual Tension. It’s only day two and I’ve already felt like I need to beat my head against the desk several times, that all my writing is crap that should just be abandoned. But at the end of the day, by the time I’d given myself some time to absorb the material, I get what the instructors are saying, and although there are some points, some examples, I can’t say I agree with at this stage, I think on the whole they should improve my writing.

I’ve moved on from editing the first chapter of my ms, but it’s an extremely slow process where every word, every change is an agonizing decision. I feel like I’m crawling kicking (and occasionally screaming) to edit each word whereas with FastDraft I flew through the story. I really don’t feel like it’s ever going to get finished, and with Dallas quickly approaching I knew I had to dig in my heels. So I pulled out Candace Haven’s Revision Hell notes and printed them off. They’re actually similar to the way I had to teach my youngest son who has ADD to handle his homework. Advice for him? Don’t look at the whole pile of homework — it’ll overwhelm you and make you feel like it’s impossible – break it into smaller more manageable segments. Look at the first question and answer it, then look at the next question. Don’t start worrying about the one after that, or the next page. Just the one right in front of you. Adjusted for me? Print out a set number of pages to work on that day and work only on those pages. Don’t scroll back to work you’ve already edited, or heaven forbid forward. You’ll just get hopelessly mired and throw your hands up in the air. (yeah, been there, done that!) Today her post was – there are some days it’s just not going to work, so give yourself permission to walk away that day.

Today I’m glad I didn’t walk away. Because by the end of the day, I had written two scenes I’m pretty happy with that I ‘think‘ have some sexual tension as well an interesting paranormal addition that I hadn’t thought of before but hit me in the middle of the night. (Candace Havens is right, if you concentrate only on your story your subconscious works on the problems while your conscious isn’t.)


2 thoughts on “Can you teach an old (and entrenched) brain new tricks?

  • Sue L

    I’m really enjoying the sexual tension class, but I don’t think I could keep up with two.

    – I’m going to take your advice on going back over Candy’s notes on her RH class. You know I’ve been having a rough time getting my edits done lately. I like your idea of printing and doing a certain number of pages per day. I’ll have to give that a try.

    Sue L

  • Amy Ruttan

    I know it can be frustrating. I’m dealing with my own issues and EDJ right now.

    Just keep pushing! Dallas isn’t far away, not that I’m going you lucky duck.

    Don’t forget a synopsis (which is our next TRW meeting). Everything will come together. It sounds very intriguing! If you need to bounce ideas off of me, I’m here.

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