First off, thanks to the folks who read and commented on The Gambler, Part II
. It’s nice to see how others deal with these issues, and interesting to see how many different ways there are to skin a cat. Jennifer at Writing Cocoon wrote her own post on the subject
. I apologize; apparently I’ve driven her to drink! It’s a subject that I may well come back to and explore again in the future: fish, or cut bait; hold ‘em, or fold ‘em; I suspect it’s a subject you can go around and around and around on, and my own views may change as I gain more experience.
This morning I checked in on my blog list and found a great post from R.S. Mallette over at From The Write Angle
, a post that speaks very much to me after the weekend I came through. In essence, Mr. Mallette reminds us to cut to the core of the issue:Objective, Obstacle, and Tactics
. You may say “This is news, Jeff? This is Basic Writing 101: Conflict.” You’re right, but it’s sometimes good to be reminded of this every once in a while. It was particularly good for me to read because I found myself again adrift in my book this weekend. I like the writing, but I’m not certain at all that I have a good story. It feels like I’ve got some entertaining vignettes populated by a series of recurring characters. I found myself asking What do they want? Why are they here? a couple of times while working on the book this weekend. This is a potentially serious problem, because it doesn’t feel like standard Doubting Writer Insecurity
; this feels like it could be a fatal flaw in the novel.
Now it’s possible that I’m a little punchy. This was a tough weekend for writing. After finishing Friday’s blog post, I had a hard time putting dedicated time in on the book this weekend. We had a welcome, but distracting, house-guest for an overnight visit; a heat wave (I’ve always preferred cold to hot; you can always bundle up and get warmer, it’s hard to get cooler); an increasingly-neurotic dog who sensed thunderstorms through the wee hours of Saturday morning and, as a result, practically sat on my head and panted hot, wet doggy breath on the back of my neck; and we went to see Harry Potter VII.2 yesterday afternoon – I heartily recommend it to fans of the books, they did a nice job.
Anyway, it was hard for me to get in a groove. I did get some good edits in, but I think I may need to go back and start from where ever it was I left off on Thursday to get a real sense of how good – or bad – this middle-third of the novel is. I’m hoping it’s just a case of distractions pestering me, and not the symptoms of something truly amiss.
Have a good week, see you on Friday.