One of the best things about being a writer is all the stories knocking around inside of my head. One of the worst things about being a writer is all the stories knocking around inside my head. When it is the former, I sit down to write and words just pour out to fill the metaphorical cup created by the blank screen or page. However, when it is the latter …
Ding! Ding! In This Corner, Weighing In at 85,000 Words …
Writing anything is like refereeing a cage match. For example, currently I am working on a fantasy romance, the sequel to Remembering Ashby. But vying for attention are sequels to Prime Evil, Hel’s Belle and a third as yet fully formed novel tentatively titled The Rapture. Like wiggling puppies, if I so much as glance in their direction they dash up to grab hold of my attention and soon, instead of writing, I feel like wrung out, wet rag as the tug-of-war becomes a three or five way battle.
It is enough to make me want to yell, “don’t make me pull this computer over!” Because you can’t get too frustrated. You can’t try to block out all the other stories. Inevitably, when you attempt that, the story you want to hear – it silences the one you want to be talking.
Sifting Through the Noise
Sifting through the noise can be more than a bit of a challenge. I handle it by listening only for the story I want to tell. Whenever any of the others gets too loud or too obnoxious, I take notes. It’s like throwing a bone for the wiggling pack of pups, but they like it. Most of the time, the right story puppies run away to chase the bone while the one I am working on grooming sits like a princess.
And then other times, she knocks over the trashcan and roots around for all the story points that won’t make it to the finished product. But I take them anyway. I can write 5,000 words and only end up using 100 of them, but without that 5,000 I wouldn’t have found the magical 100.
Sometimes it takes talking to another writer to find someone who understands “Jack won’t shut up and wait her turn. James is being too cagey and hard to draw out.” But in writing, as in life, patience and persistence do pay off.
So does pulling the computer over and walking away to let the characters stew. Sometimes five or ten minutes of a time out are all they need to realize that I won’t start typing until they start cooperating.
Have a great Friday and be sure to check out my new release of Prime Evil available from most eBook dealers. $0.25 of every sale will go to the World Wildlife Fund.
A lifelong writer turned author, Heather Long‘s first book Remembering Ashby is available for purchase at Sapphire Blue Publishing. Coming soon is the urban fantasy: Prime Evil. The Daily Dose explores books, television, writing and more — all topics that Heather enjoys.