Random thoughts and hard work

The morning started out with me thinking I couldn't write today, I needed to stop and figure out the bones of this book, and if I went further I'd just screw myself. This often happens to me between pages 60 and 100 of a book -- I've introduced everyone, set the scene, had some inciting incident and something exciting happen, and now I need to figure where I'm going.

So I pulled out my notebook and looked over the pages and pages and pages of notes I took before I went to the hotel and when I was at the hotel, while I kept trying to get a handle on the book, and most of the stuff is useless. Me floundering, looking for meaning.

OK, I told myself. I could do this. I just had to stop and get a clearer idea of where this is going. I just can't have my characters run from pillar to post without an underlying structure. It's a pain in the ass to go back and fix that kind of stuff later -- surely I could avoid all the work later on.

I began with new notes, reflecting the new beginning and the 80 pages I had so far, thinking that I needed to come up with a structure. Put it down, frustrated, thought about where I was in the MIP and realized I WANTED to write (caps because that's a miracle), even if I had no idea where I was going. So instead of having any kind of road map, I just started writing, and came up with seven pages in an hour when I thought I couldn't work today.

I know this is ridiculous, since April 1st is the 32nd anniversary of my first book being published, but I sure wish I knew what I was doing. That I had the answers.
But I guess finding the answers is the act of writing, at least for me. No matter how I try to corral and control it, it has a life of its own.

And this book isn't going to be boxed or arranged or figured out -- it's just going to come at me, and I need to make peace with the process, because it's absolutely brilliant (or at least the first 80 pages are. Actually the first 87 pages are).

But it sure would be nice if I could ever figure this writing business out.