Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Honeymoon is Over . . .

This blog post was supposed to be about my current WIP and how I’m head over hills in love with everything about it.  But alas, as I crossed the halfway mark, the rose-colored glasses came off.   I knew it was all too good to be true- my eagerness to write and the way the words flowed effortlessly.  *Deep sigh* Oh yes, those were the days. 

I’m not saying I’ve fallen out of love with my WIP, but the relationship has changed.  Things are not all butterflies and rainbows anymore.  I no longer hear birds singing outside my window as I maniacally type away on my laptop.  Unfortunately, all the little things that I could overlook early on in the relationship have now become thorns in my side. 

When I started my WIP, I knew exactly what I was doing and where I was going.  There would be some tough scenes, but they were so far off in the distance I didn’t dwell on them.  I had fun breathing life into my characters and hanging out with them.  Sure there were conflicts and emotional struggles in the first half of my ms, but I enjoyed writing them!  I didn’t feel threatened or intimidated by them, because I had this strange thing called confidence.  Notice the word HAD. 

I was sweating this particular scene before I even started writing it.  It involves the death of my main character’s sister.  This is the one scene that had to be done right.  I had to get the emotions right, the character interactions, the sequence of events—it all had to be perfect. 

I spent all last week working on this scene.  And it was hell.  My confidence took a nose-dive before I even started writing, which of course lead to a massive bout of writers block, which then lead to crappy writing.  Not to mention, when you’re writing something dark and depressing, it affects your mood.  I didn’t find myself breaking down in the middle of writing or anything like that, but I did feel physically drained afterwards.  Kind of like that feeling you get after a bad argument with your significant other.  This scene literally sucked the life out of me.

Thankfully, the scene is over.  Even though I’ve tried to make some edits to it already, it’s still VERY rough.  This is one scene that’s going to need to simmer for a while before I can go back to it and make it sparkle.  Distance makes the heart grow fonder :o)

Just like any rough patch in a relationship, if the love is there, you can get through it.  I know there will be more tough times to come, but I’m also confidant love will conquer all, and what doesn’t kill me will make me a better writer (enough cliches for ya?).  At least that's what I keep telling myself.

I’m curious, what scenes do you find difficult to write, and how do you get through them?


  1. Hey Angela! LOVED your post! LOL

    I'll be by to leave a better comment in a bit. I'm out the door in about five minutes. TTYS

  2. For me, all the scenes are tough scenes until I really get into them. Every time I finish one scene, I think, "Oh hell, now I've got to do another one." It's not till the words are flowing do I start to relax. I always worry that the last scene I wrote is going to be... well, the last scene I write. :-)

    I'm have a tough time with revisions at the moment. My confidence rises and falls with each new line. Do I like it? Do I hate it? Can I even tell anymore?

    And the only way I know to get through it? Gummy bears. Well, and the occasional shot of bourbon. :-)

    (By the way this blog won't let me comment using my actual web site. If you haven't figured it out, it's me, jsb68 ;-))

  3. Thank you Anita :o)

    Jenny- I know what you mean. I second guessed myself so many times when I was revising my last project. Sometimes I couldn't tell if I was making it better by taking something out or making it worse. Oh, and I always get the feeling like I'm repeating myself. Like how many different ways can you say your mc feels like they're going to start to cry? lol. No wonder I feel like I'm losing my mind half the time ;o)

    BTW, as soon as I saw "Gummy bears", I knew EXACTLY who it was ;o) lol

  4. I'm back! Action scenes are the hardest for me. It's so difficult to try to word the action in a way that makes it flow and not feel like a football play by play, you know? Congrats on finishing that scene! Even if it is rough, you got it done. And the fact that you were feeling raw afterwards prob means that you rocked that scene emotionally. You might even be surprised once you come back and read it w/fresh eyes. :)

  5. Anita- Your mention of action scenes just reminded me I have one of those coming up too!! Sheesh! Something else to 'look forward to.' lol.

  6. I haven't gotten to the hard scenes yet, but I have the main conflict coming up that's a little daunting. I'm still new at this!

  7. Hi Keriann!
    Even though this is my second book, a lot of this stuff is new to me too! My first book was VERY character driven with a lot of internal conflict. This book is more plot driven with a lot going on around the main character. It's definetly challenging, but still fun to write--MOST of the time ;o)

    Thanks for the comment! :o)

  8. Love this post, Angela! As soon as I read, "the honeymoon is over" I knew exactly what you were talking about! When I first started writing, this all-consuming passion took over me. Writing was all I ever wanted to do -- day and night, every waking hour, non-stop. I literally could NOT get enough of it. In fact, it only took me something like 4 months to churn out 118K words -- only, it was all crap. But it was necessary to get me (and my story) to where I am today.

    Today? Well, I still love writing (of course) and occasionally I'll get that passionate feeling again, but it's nothing like it was back then. The difference now is, I know the difference between what's right and wrong, what's good writing and what's bad writing. Fortunately, I still love it, and truthfully, I can never get enough.

  9. Hi Ashley :o)

    Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I'm starting to realize that the first book is like the experimental guinea pig--we learn what works, what doesn't work, what we like, and what we don't like. So many best selling authors trunked their first novels, so if end up having to do the same, I won't feel too bad. I've learned more from writing my first ms (and trying to get it rep'd) than I ever could've in a classroom.

  10. I'm with Anita in that action scenes are really tough for me, but when I read them...I think, "'s not that hard."

    I've discovered when I finish my manuscript and start on something else, I typically get really excited for about...30K words, and then it fizzles out and I have something else I'm amped about and that one ends up getting completed. I call it my rebound-write. Long term relationship finally ends, you meet some hot guy in a bar who thinks you look just like Heidi Klum so you hang out for a while and have LIKE THE BEST, MOST EXCITING TIME EVER! and a few months later you realize he's dumber than a post and is going bald, so you ditch him for that guy you've seen at Starbucks like a thousand times, the one with the great crooked smile who makes old-school Vans look cool, and ...the rest is history.

  11. Haha! You're so funny, Bethany! I know, it's uncanny the similarities between a book and a relationship. I know with my first project (the one I've been querying for . . . too long) it's getting to that "amicable" break-up point. You know, we both realize things aren't working out and we need to go our seperate ways. Still, I'm going to give it everything I got until that day ;o)