Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Writer's Knot

So, I don't actually get writer's block very much (despite the impression the name of my blog may give).  I actually get what I will affectionately refer to as "Writer's Knot," where I get so wrapped up in all the details of my story that I don't actually write because I'm trying to connect all of these neat ideas and threads. 

A friend from my critique group says I need to forget about all of that stuff and just write the story.  I can sprinkle in all of my cool details later, he says. 

The problem is, I really like all my details and character back stories and all the little things that make the story unique, and, I'm worried that if I don't include at least some of this stuff now, it's not going to fit in so well later on.  

I hear all of this advice of "Just finish." and "write the first draft, then go back and polish," but I want to polish now.  It's difficult to go in a straight line and finish the first draft when I want to circle back and make the story more than it is in the current state.

I am now trying to stick to a schedule to keep me producing something every two weeks so I don't let the knot tie me up too tight.  And, even though I haven't finished the first draft of the story, and I have already written hundreds and hundreds of pages, I am currently re-working Chapter 10.  "That's it?" was all my husband said the other day when I told him what chapter I was working on.  But I've gotta say, I like the story so much better in the direction it's going AND I've been able to include some of my more creative ideas.      

Is this the "right" way to write?  I'm not sure.  Probably not.  This isn't exactly something I've ever experienced before- but that's the point of the blog:  to document this process of discovery.   I just need to keep pushing through and work toward a goal until I finish.  Maybe I'll figure out the right way for me and writing books will become easier and more streamlined for future projects.


Voidwalker said...

Wow, that is me. I have "Writer's Knot," too. I have the same problem of connecting the details, more so than not knowing what to write.

Yay for not being alone :)

Kimberly Franklin said...

I guess you can add my name to the "Writer's Knot" club. Though, I think it is important to iron out some details before writing. Otherwise, how would you know what to write?

Yeah, I know it's important to write and get finished. But, I also read once somewhere that sometimes you just have to let a story percolate. At first, I was a non believer. Though as the weeks have passed and my story has been percolating, things I never thought of seem to just pop up in my mind and most of my threads are beginning to weave together quite nicely.

So, sometimes, percolating is a great thing! The key is just not to do it for too long or your story may evaporate.

: ) Love your post. Glad I'm not the only one with this problem.

Lauren said...

I like that- letting a story percolate. I have definitely seen this happen in my story.
Sometimes I'll be doing something random, like washing dishes and I'll have to throw off the gloves and grab my notebook so I can write down the bolts of inspiration that come to me.

Good to know others are experiencing this and that it all somehow works itself out.

Thanks for the comments!