Saturday, May 14, 2005

It’s the Suck Monster’s Day Off

(This was written a couple or weeks ago)

I love trains.

Not in an Anoraks-and-Notebooks way, but in a Space-and-Time way. Space and time to think, to relax, to be.

I often write blog posts on the train, but not all of them make it to the blog itself. Blogs are immediate and of-the-day. I’m hesitant to post something on Friday that was written on Tuesday.

Of course, if I’m honest, I should be writing Frenchman not blog posts.
Frenchman (real title TAKEN) is the abandoned Silhouette Intimate Moments/Sensation wannabee I set aside to rewrite McWife.

Just let me pause for a moment to relive the Rewriting of McWife and shudder.


Anyway, so here I am, half a MS written, and needing to get back into it. As someone who writes out of sequence that’s a hell of a task in itself.

I have pieces. The first five chapters pretty much complete. Parts of those first chapters are crud, and need work. But, as my good friend Biddy keeps reminding me, it’s a first draft. I have to let it be a first draft.

I have bits from the middle – which incidentally read more like an Agatha Christie: French hotel full of an ever increasing cast of characters, a circle of the heroine’s family, friends and staff that the poor hero is completely outside – and a climactic ending that I’m rather proud of.

First job is to read it through, complete chapters, scenes, scene fragments, snippets of dialogue where I’m not even sure who's speaking, the lot.

Then I need to draw a scene map – find out what I’ve got, where I’m going, and what’s missing. It’s like stepping stones, and I have no intention of getting out into the middle of the river and finding out there’s a stone missing in the middle.

I’ve started the reading part. Which has brought its own problem, and not the usual one, either.

Believe me, I have my fair share of Attack of the Suck Monster when re-reading material I’ve written before. But this was the opposite problem. This was Good. Hand-clamped-over-my-mouth-so-I-didn’t-sob-in-public good. Forgetting-to-breathe good. Who-wrote-this-because-it-couldn’t-have-been-me good.

And now I have stage fright. I’m afraid I won’t be able to live up to the standards I’ve already set myself in what I have here. I have this scary, “if they don’t buy this it won’t be because of me” feeling, and if I don’t get it right, I’m going to forever regret it.

Now, of course, I’m sounding pompous and smug. Not AT ALL my intention. There’s plenty of crap in there, too, it’s just the good stuff surprised me.

The Suck Monster has days off, too. Who knew?


At 3:14 pm, Blogger Jaci Burton said...

I'd say you've written something very very good, Anna. And there's nothing wrong with recognizing that. Why is it that we writers have no problem announcing the dreck we've written, but are almost ashamed to realize that we have those occasional moments of brilliance, when what we write is actually something we can read without cringeing?

I have often opened up something I wrote awhile go, re-read it and think....hey, this doesn't suck! I love those moments. You should too ;)


At 6:14 pm, Anonymous thischristinex said...

Ditto what Jaq said.
Those moments are the best affirmations we as writers can find. They lift us for a time from our (sometimes frustrating) struggles with word and phrase, and show us why we keep going; sentence after sentence, page after page.


At 6:59 pm, Blogger Nell Dixon said...

Go for it Anna! I know exactly what you mean. I'm revising Marrying Max as it's been requested and I didn't even remember writing some of it - might have had a few glasses of wine at those points!

At 10:19 pm, Blogger Biddy said...

Remember first drafts can be good!! They can. Give yourself a break!


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