I know what I need to do with the book, but it’s not working. I caught myself giving myself a pep talk and then thought, “Self, this is the sort of thing you should put on your blog so people can see how crazy writers really are.” And my self said, “Yeah!”
So, here’s the deal. I’m stuck just over halfway through the book while making revisions. Can’t move. It’s like playing chess when you know any move you make will lead to a piece being taken from you: there’s seemingly no change I can make to this manuscript that will get it to where it needs to go. This, of course, reminds me of that time I sitting in a Power Plotting workshop and said to Mary Buckham, “If I’m having problems right here, that means I messed up somewhere before this point and I have to go back to the beginning.”
And she said yes.
And I inwardly cursed my inability to plot my novel without having to back up. Now I’m not-so inwardly cursing my inability to revise my novel without backing up and going back to the beginning.
Then those thoughts reminded me of The Princess Bride and how Inigo knew to go back to the beginning when the job went wrong:
“I’m waiting for you, Vizzini. You told me to go back to the beginning. So I have. This is where I am, and this is where I’ll stay. I will not be moved.”
At this point I think I need Fezzik to dunk my head in barrels of water and then nurse me back to health until I gain greater understanding.
But then I remembered something from RWA: Jennifer Crusie mentioned how you get to a point where you go over and over the manuscript again and again tweaking here and there–this is where I am.
I am tweaking.
This is not to be confused with twerking. That, I cannot do.
So I’ve eaten a taco (sunshine from within–just ask Delilah Dawson) and I’m going to learn from Roxanne St. Claire (revision articles that are in my RWA eNotes somewhere) and, of course, I’ll start by rereading my editorial notes from Peter (#editorsareimportant). At the moment, though, it looks like I’m going back to the beginning. Again.
This, ladies and gents, is how the sausage is made.