Thursday, February 18, 2010

Up In the Night

By Nichole Giles

Two weeks ago, I woke up in the night having had an epiphany about one of my unfinished novels. Don’t laugh. Even though I’m currently trying to get to the end of the book, my great idea had to do with the beginning. As in a prologue.

Because of this idea, I figured out a few scenes that need to be added in, a few I’ll end up taking out, and it seems like I had great plans for the ending. Yes, I wrote the ideas down. Sort of. But only in a really vague way, and not in any detail whatsoever.

I didn’t have time. I’m currently working on two different unfinished novels—as well as a rewrite of another, and last week I spent three days at a conference. I chose—stupidly—to focus on finishing the rewrite before going back to the unfinished book. Yeah, well. It sounded like a good idea at the time.

Fast forward to today. I knew I had critique group tonight, and that we’ve gone through all the chapters I’ve written up to this point. My plan was to write a new chapter during the day, print it, and bring it raw. I’ve done it before. It isn’t so painful as to make me give up writing. Usually. But…things happened. I had about fifty distractions that kept me from my computer during the day. And the truth is, every time I did open my screen, I drew a complete blank.

I’m not sure why. Maybe I need to skip around, write the prologue, the middle scenes, then the end before I tie them all together. Or maybe it’s because I knew I had to get it done. Whatever the reason, I didn’t get my chapter written. What I ended up with is two pages of pure crap—which, incidentally, I will eventually turn into non-crap. As soon as I find that inspiration I let pass me by last week. Dang. Maybe I left it in that box of chocolates I gave away on Valentine’s Day? I should go look.

The moral of the story: if inspiration wakes you up in the night, go with it. Ignore it, and it will eventually run away and then you’re left chasing after it screaming, nooooooo don’t goooooooo! Er, well, that’s how I’m feeling today. Bah.

Back to writing. Wish me luck.


Carolyn V. said...

There are always days when I wish I would have written down a good idea. Good luck with the writing Nichole!

ali said...

Aw, that's so sad! Yes, never, ever, put your muse off till morning. She's fickle and stubborn enough that she might ignore you if you try to make her work on YOUR schedule. ♥

willie boy williamson said...

As a radio dj in my youth, when I would have to read 60 seconds of commercial copy without a mistake for broadcast sometime it would take me several takes to get it right, but I developed a habit that worked every time. When I couldn't seem to get it right I would stop, push back from the consoul and start taking slow deep breaths and picturing the word relax. and without fail after that I read straight through without a pause every time sooooo I tried the same thing with writers block or writers "stutter" and it works, hope it helps.

L.T. Elliot said...

That's happened to me before but don't be too hard on yourself. You said it, Life Happens. Sometimes it's all we can do. Keep chasing. You'll find it again.

Nichole Giles said...

Thanks everyone. Don't worry, I'll remember it. If I hadn't done this a bunch of times before, I wouldn't have taken the chance.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll get there. But obviously not on my own time--it's all up to my muse.