I wonder how many times i've put Aaaargh as the title of a blog post. I'm at my standard point in a book where it appears hopeless and all is lost! I get to about 20k words and suddenly it seems like shit. I've introduced the characters, the conflict, and then what the hell do I do next?
What I do is send it to Crusie and Lynda Ward and beg for advice. They both say it sucks dead toads, but then, books usually do at this point. It's the roughest of rough drafts, complicated by my frozen shoulder making typing almost impossible. I can pull it to shape by sheer brute force, or I can toss it and start this luscious new idea I've come up with (a little Notorious, a little Scarface, with lots of sex and violence).
But then I'll get to 20k words and fall apart again. I think I've got to fix what I've got. Panic is for wusses. I've printed the sucker (literally) out and I can rip it into pieces (metaphorically) and make it work. Hell, I can make it brilliant -- I've never had a whole lot of issues with self-worth and confidence in my own abilities, thank God.
I have plenty of insecurities in the rest of my life, but damn, I can write books that make me deliriously happy and even make some other people equally pleased. You really can't ask for me. And I can do it. I didn't realize when I started typing (ouch) this morning that I was going to commit to what I already had, but if I view it as a challenge I can rise to it. Gotta accept the fact that all my darlings need to be slaughtered, that I need to get the mystery clear and up front, that we need to know who the hero and heroine are (not just what they look like and how the banter/flirt/snap at each other). I can do this.
Even on a road trip. Yup, we're leaving the land of ice and snow for a trip to Washington to scope out places to live. Vermont is the home of my heart, but it's killing us, both financially and in terms of relentless, heartless weather. I'll be keeping a trip diary here (and hope my son keeps things safe back at our homestead). We'll look at houses and maybe fall in love, or maybe decide Vermont is where we belong. Well, we already know that, but the price is getting too steep.
So I'm going to whip this book into shape during the road trip. Think I can do it?
Of course! I am woman, hear me roar, I am writer, watch me write.