I’ve been working on a novel for the last two years. I think it’s a good book. It won’t win a Booker prize, but I’m hoping it’s the kind of book you pass to your friend and they pass it to another friend and eventually no one can remember who it belongs to.
I’ve had some friends read it, hired an editor to review it, and have some structural issues I need to deal with before I can start to query it. I thought I would be ready to query it last spring. Each revision creates a better book. I am becoming a stronger writer. But at the moment, I’m stuck.
I’m at a pivot point in the plot, where Act 1 becomes Act 2. If I can set this up right, I think, I hope, the rest will fall into place. I’ve written, deleted, rewritten, moved, moved again, gone back to the original, but it’s still not quite right yet. I’m getting tired of looking at it.
I discussed it with some other writers, and one woman gave me an interesting insight. Sometimes the fastest way to get to the finish line is to stop running and rest for a moment.
Her point was that I needed some space and distance from my writing to better see what I needed to fix. I’ve been feeling that a lot lately–even with my music. I’m nose deep in my mistakes to the point where that is all that I see.
So I’m breaking it down into components, and then pulling back so I can see how the puzzle pieces fit together, so I can see the overall picture, how the colors and lines connect.
I’m used to powering through problems. I’m a fixer. But perhaps this stage of writing is like flying a plane. The story wants to fly straight, but can’t until I ease up on the controls. Yesterday, I told another writer friend that the world needed to chillax. Sounds like a plan. Pull up a chair, I have coffee and pie. Let’s watch the stories bloom.
Words by J. B. Everett
Photograph by Elycefeliz © 2010 Creative Commons