Sunday, March 6, 2011

Go with the Flow

Have you ever come to that point in writing a book where you have the plot outlined, you know where the story is going in general, but every time you sit down to write it feels like the words are all wrong?  I mean, they explain what’s happening, but they don’t do it well, or pretty enough.  You’ve lost the flow somewhere and you can’t seem to get back into the rhythm of the words.
I’ve heard different opinions on this and was curious how you deal with it.  Do you write on through, figuring that you’ll get the story line down and deal with cadence later?  Do you walk away and wait for it to feel right again?  Do you cry yourself to sleep every night for months?  Do you give up writing and toss your laptop out the window?
Well, I hope you don’t do the last two.
If you do write on through it, what have you found when coming back to edit that section?  Did the writing feel worse than it sounded after a little break?  Did you have to re-write that portion because it really didn’t flow with the rest of the book?  Did you throw the MS in the trash and tell your 5 year old to write your next book for you?
Yeah, I hope you didn’t do that one either.
How do you get back on course when the flow is all wrong?


Luke Raftl said...

Hi Julie,

I write in a linear fashion, so if I come to a section I am struggling to get the feeling for I invariably struggle through it as best I can, get something down and move on. Then I come back later, fresh from more successful writing further down the line, and it usually feels much better! If I later decide that it needs to change, I do it, and hope to god it doesn't mean I have to change too much down the line as a result!

Beth said...

I don't know, because I don't outline.

Lynette Benton said...

I know the feeling. Sometimes I go back to the lists I've made of quick tips I've made for myself to get out of that slogging phase.

Other times, I just keep writing, as you said. I've got enough experience to know that the flow and force will return. It always does somehow . . . And yes, when I go back to edit, that section looks pretty crappy—but editable!

Great question. Tx for the post.

Julie Geistfeld said...

Thanks for the great comments!
Love to hear about the processes other writers use.

Thanks for stopping by the blog.

Marsha Sigman said...

Yes, I do feel like that. I usually try to push through it. When I come back later, I either rewrite the whole thing or I gasp at my own awesomeness (ok, that part is not usually true).

If you keep reworking instead of moving on then you won't ever finish the first draft of a ms. Better to blow through and rework it in the edit phase.

I would let my two year old work on it but his overuse of the word 'poop' is just offensive and completely out of context.