Today is Tuesday, well beyond my goal of the Sunday afternoon post. I am frustrated. So, today I will vent, and this evening I will post the blog that I said I would post a week ago concerning the one line pitch. Today, I’m 59,000 words into my book and I’m having an anxiety attack. It is actually one of a week-long string of attacks. And, while the anxiety isn’t debilitating, it is certainly frustrating. I decided to share my angst on the chance that others are experiencing similar frustration and might be able to offer words of wisdom.
The following 3 situations are wreaking havoc in my mind:
1. Deadline – a self imposed deadline to finish 70,000 words by August 11th, the day I return to my day job as a curriculum coordinator after summer break. Today is August 2nd, giving me 9 days of writing (minus Band Day at the Indiana State Fair – a fabulous day spent watching my high school daughter play the xylophone in her marching band). So, actually 8 days, which means 1,375 words per day. Try as I might, I struggle to write over 1,000 words per day. When my scene outline is complete and well thought out, I can do it with ease. But, I’ve reached the point in the book where the outline is fuzzy and getting 1,000 words out means plotting… which leads to:
2. My scene outline is fuzzy. When writing The Territory, I left the identity of the murderer a mystery for me to solve with the police. It worked well. I plotted along, slightly ahead of the police and it felt very natural. Then, I used the clues I had dropped along the way to help me solve the crime at the end of the book. I worked great, actually. I thought I had come up with a foolproof system for me. Now, well into my second book, I’m struggling right along with the cops. I know who should be the murderer, and I know there are a host of characters with motive and means, but who actually dumped the body in the desert? And, was the person who dumped the body the same person who committed the murder? Which leads to:
3. I read State of Wonder by Ann Patchett this past week. Big mistake. It is a gorgeous book that ties together all of the threads of the narrative together in a way that makes you put down the book and sigh. It’s the kind of book that you finish and you want to sit in silence for a while to let it all settle in. That’s what I want to achieve, and it’s making me a little crazy. Which leads to:
4. If I only had more time I could figure this crazy plot out. I could pull together these disparate chunks and pieces and make them flow like water. But, I first need to quit worrying about my lack of ability and my fuzzy outline so that I can make good use of the time that I do have!