Archive | March, 2011

The Blank Page

29 Mar

Oh, the blank page. At this point, I’m so, so familiar with it. And, in many ways, I’m starting over with a blank page right now.

You may have noticed that March pretty much turned into a month-long hiatus from blogging. This was mainly intentional.

It’s been a season of transition for me. The time off helped me to focus on a few larger-than-life areas—especially the fact that I was finishing up my first trimester of pregnancy and feeling like utter junk for most of the time. I think it’s getting better. Finally.

That’s not the only reason I took a break, though. In majorly exciting news, the novel I’ve been working on for most of this blog’s life? I finished it. And by finished, of course, you know I mean that in a relative sense—mainly, I mean I feel satisfied with the work I’ve done on it, to the point that I feel it’s ready for agents’ eyes.

Also? That tiny little word I just used—work? It seems small. Way. Too. Small.

Those four letters represent years of discipline and heart, poured into every page.

They represent countless lattes, post-it notes, index cards, and hours spent at Starbucks.

They represent four drafts started from four scary blank pages: the one where I started with nothing more than the name of my character; the one where I re-envisioned so much of the story that I couldn’t simply weave in the changes; the one where I was satisfied with the story and structure but knew I could make the writing itself stronger; the one where the first third got completely re-worked.

And that, my friends, is why I took a month off. Transitioning out of that much work and jumping into a new blank page? Not easy. (Especially when there are three compelling ideas begging me to write them.) But! I’m pleased to say I’ve chosen (with much difficulty) which project to pursue next, and that I’m making good progress on it already.

Thanks so much for being patient while I disappeared, and for checking in on me to let me know you missed my regular blogging. Now that I’m past the hump of bad baby sickness (hopefully) and have transitioned between projects, I should be back to posting on a regular basis again.

Happy writing and reading to all of you!



The Last Scene

8 Mar

The last scene in my book: it’s my very, very favorite.

There are a lot of scenes and sequences I’m proud to have written, lots of bits of dialogue that strike a chord with me, lots of threads I’ve painstakingly woven together over the course of numerous drafts.  But, still, no matter what, the last scene—and, more specifically, the final image—in my book is The One that has the power to kick me in the gut, make me proud to have written this book, this way.

Do you have scenes like that?  I hope you do.  Perhaps it’s your opening sequence, where you first introduce your character to the world.  Perhaps it’s some victory for your lead, or some earth-shattering loss he suffers, or the climax.  Perhaps it’s a single line of prose, written in just the right way, that so perfectly embodies everything you mean to communicate.

If you don’t have something like this, just keep writing.  The more you write, the more likely it is that something magical and surprising will fall into place in a way that’s even better than you hoped for.

If you do identify with this, it’s probably why you’re STILL writing.