Writer’s block, and other things.

So . . . it’s happened to me.

It took me two days to realize that I had writer’s block. Two days of sitting in my shed, staring at the screen of my laptop.

I’ve had difficult scenes to write before, of course. I trudge along through them – sometimes slowly – and stick my conquering flag in the face of whatever character or situation caused me so much grief. I never laugh though, so don’t picture me laughing while you’re picturing me sticking that conquering flag wherever I’m talking about (if you are). It’s never a funny thing – or a pleasant one. It’s simply something that must be done at some point or another during every story (or at many points, depending on). After writing two complete series (albeit one sh- er . . . uhm . . . crappy one), I’m no stranger to difficult scenes.

It was different this time.

Firstly, that it took me so long to realize that WRITER’S BLOCK had me at a near standstill.

Secondly, the scene I was stuck on was only remotely difficult. It wasn’t anything to bat more than a couple eyelashes at.

In two days, I wrote only about half of a chapter.

On the second of those days, I LITERALLY wrote one half of a page (keep in mind that this is while using Georgia font 12, so that half a page was not really half a page, but close).

This is not saying I sat down for an hour or so combined. I’m talking two entire NIGHTS. I know a lot of people are lucky to get that much written, usually because they have real jobs and the like. This is not me bragging (and I will say it again, I type very fast and I have a lot of time to write), but I usually knock some pretty decent word counts out in the eight to fourteen hours a day that I’m writing. Clearly. That’s a lot of time.

Last night was better. Mostly because I think I realized what’s been plaguing me. It has everything to do with that entry I wrote a few days ago – Overwhelmed by the new WIP. There’s just SO MUCH going on past the eyes of the current MC. So many things that I somewhat knew about, but didn’t really. So many characters that haven’t yet come into the story. So many ties connecting them all together. And I have to figure it out. That’s the issue.

I made some character chart things. Or basic ones – questions that need to be asked for all of them. Who are you?

Haven’t filled any of them out yet.

I had to come up with names that aren’t relevant yet. All kinds of names. Let me tell you – coming up with a giant list of names at one time is SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT than the spur of the moment names when introducing one character to another. I drew a map of this world, separating all the kingdoms. EPIC FAILURE. I tried again (with pencil). Had to put forests where I knew they were. Rivers. Because all of this is relevant in some way or another. The devil is most certainly in the details. The second attempt was only a minor failure. Well, that would depend on your outlook, I suppose. It was a better attempt than the first and – for the most part – I think I’ve got everything (so far) where it needs to be.

I’m trying to figure out when to do all of this (all of the lists/charts/webs [webs are important with this]) and I don’t have a freaking clue. I want to write. Of course this was all hanging me up, preventing me from writing in the first place. I have things to do on here. I have about four blog awards to accept (I WILL GET TO THEM AT SOME POINT! I REALLY HAVE EVERY INTENTION OF IT!). Comments piled up while I was working (I’M SORRY, I WILL GET TO THOSE HERE IN A BIT!). I have some emails that I want to respond to (I WILL GET TO THOSE IN A LITTLE BIT LONGER BIT BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING TO TAKE ME A FEW HOURS!). I want to sit down with Husband and watch a movie we bought the other day. I had to pick blackberries and make jelly with my mom yesterday. Had to welcome my niece back home. I need to eat at some point.

Yes, not very many things, I know. But if you write on a regular basis, you’ll know that every minute you spend doing something else is a minute that you could’ve been writing. Depending on your typing speed, a minute is what? Between 60-120 words? Add sixty of those together and you get . . . well, I’m bad at math and I don’t feel like adding it up.

LOTS OF WORDS.

I have issues, I know.

A minute spent doing character sheets. A minute spent responding to comments. A minute spent blogging. A minute spent doing anything.

And I actually took a bit of time to do some fun things on Friday. Went to Qdoba with my husband, tweeted about it and they tweeted me back (I’m sure they do that with everybody, but it was super awesome for me). Went and saw The Lone Ranger. Don’t even get me started on that. I actually wanted to blog about that movie and I might. I just wanted to make sure I’d do it with a calm mind.

Irrelevant.

Minutes. Words.

Clearly I’m losing it.

Can anybody see why I crawl into a little hermit-hole while I’m writing?

Sorry.

Thanks everybody for being so cool about all of it and (for some reason) liking me anyway.

Hope you’re all having wonderful days and whatnot. And I hope that no one else is plagued by the WB. Kind of like that down-bug that made its way ’round a few weeks ago. Be careful. Don’t catch this one.

Hmm . . . come to think about it . . . It would probably be best to go seclude myself. Just so nobody else gets it. 😉

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Overwhelmed by the new WIP

The title says it all, doesn’t it?

I somehow managed to fix my sleep schedule back to normal (nocturnal) after that first night of coming home from Florida. So, for the past several days, all I’ve been doing is WRITING. Time has slipped away from me. I’m not ashamed of it, and I feel only slightly guilty.

Things are going well with this second book (so far). I’m writing it from another character’s perspective. Interactive. The story rolls on.

Here’s the thing . . .

I write a LOT of characters over the course of a series. I’m not even going to tell you how many were in S2. It seems natural to me. People meet other people. I guess it’s enough to be confusing if you have a difficult time remembering names. Normally, I don’t.

And you see . . . it’s not that there are a crapton of characters being introduced in these new books. There really isn’t. It’s everything else.

EVERYTHING.

I made up a new world in S2. Cities, small towns, etc. But it seems so . . . my god, I’m going to hate saying this, but it seems so basic in comparison.

Now I’ve got magic to deal with. Who can do what most efficiently. What it looks like when each of them use it (and its differences).

I’ve got creatures.

I’ve got dragons with names.

Ties. Families. Wars. Lineage. Kingdoms. Villages. Armies. Generals. Units. Laws. Punishments. More ties. Marriages. Kids. Taverns. Weapons. Soldiers. Secrets. More magic. SO MUCH MORE MAGIC. HAVE I USED THAT NAME? WHICH DRAGON IS WHICH? HOLY JESUS, WHAT COLOR DID I MAKE THEM AGAIN? WHAT’S THAT ABOUT REPRODUCTION? WHAT WAS THAT NAME? WTF IS GOING ON HERE?!

I uhm . . . I’m going to have to map this stuff out.

This will be a first, minus my little lists for sh . . . er . . uhm . . . craps and giggles. Lists of names, usually. Gotta make sure they’re not too similar (as I tend to do that occasionally). Lists of chapter titles. Lists of word counts for each chapter after each editing. Tallies of each cuss word and how many times they’re each used. Yes, I’ve got a bit of OCD. I like lists. And apparently the word each when writing the past few sentences.

But now I’m going to have to make detailed sheets, like . . . for each thing. It’s new. It’s made my eyes twitch a few times, thinking about it.

Anyway. What I’m trying to say here is, “Hey. I’m a little busy right now.”

I know I try to post every three days. I think I’m a day off right now. I might have to extend that a little.

Here comes the guilt.

We’ll say I’ll try to give an update and say hello every four days or so. I’m usually pretty good at responding to comments, but I’ve even fallen off on that. I’m just feeling very overwhelmed at the moment. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me, but honestly? I’m looking forward to it. This will be a new experience. New experiences – yaaaaaay.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. That’s what I’ll be doing. That’s what’s going on.

Hope all of you out there in the vast expanses of internetdom are having wonderful days and all that good stuff.

I sure am, despite the eye twitching.

I shall wave the shame fan in my own face for being such a horrible person and neglecting my social networking stuff.

Making Time for Security Blankets

I began typing up a new entry earlier today (it will technically be yesterday by the time this is posted), and was interrupted and asked to come downstairs at precisely the same moment that I realized…I shouldn’t have been writing it with intent to share in the first place.

Blogging is difficult for me.  When I do it, I can feel the little tug from the past saying, “Hey, You…You used to enjoy me.  Remember?  You used to tell me everything.  What happened to You?”

I’m a different person now; that’s not a bad thing.  I enjoy taking my personal steps back from my writing.  I enjoy my life being mine.  I enjoy my stories being their own.  My life and my writing coexisting so closely?  Well…it’s just not as appealing to me as it once was.  Sure, I put little bits and pieces of myself into everything that I write.  It’s completely different.  If you write books about characters that have their own lives and experiences – where those lives and experiences do not coincide with your own – you will understand what I mean when I say that it’s different.  I prefer it that way.  I enjoy my privacy – or having as much privacy as I want to allow myself. 

The point of this being that it’s so funny how things seem to happen at precisely the right time.

Is that our own mind adapting to circumstances and situations, growing from them and MAKING any time the right time?  Or is it something simpler, yet indescribably more difficult to explain?  Do we make the right time, or is the right time made for us?  Hmm…It’s definitely something to ponder over.

That question is more relevant to my life at the moment than I can fully explain.

I’ve spoken of headspaces before, but I will say that during the past week or more, I’ve been stuck inside of a worse one than any I’ve been stuck inside of for a very long time.  I’d forgotten what it was like.  It was something I never thought I’d forget; I believe that alone speaks wonders towards the natural progression of life.

Headspace.  Right.

Finally though, after everything had seemed so dark…a little light of hope appeared.  It sounds lame, I know, but it’s true.  It was unexpected, but what was more unexpected was the massive amount of clarity gained from that tiny light’s illumination.  I’d been so focused on the negatives that I didn’t realize all of the other things connecting themselves inside of my head – working themselves out naturally.

I’d already worked out my plan for my books, but I hadn’t worked out my plan for my life.  The realization that it had worked itself out somewhere in the back of my head – without my knowledge or permission, mind you – hit me slowly.  I don’t really feel comfortable with anything unless I have a plan for it.  Yes, I’m aware that you can plan and prepare for as long as you like and, more often than not, it won’t work out the way you thought or intended.  That’s not why I do it.  I do it for the structure and the security.  In fact, you really could compare the feeling of it to a security blanket for my head.  It makes me feel better.  Safer.

Right now?  I feel better.

I’ve been sitting here staring down at the keyboard for several minutes with a little grin on my face.

I have always, always been a mess.  Until I started writing books, I had absolutely no feeling of purpose in life – no direction or motivation; I was just going through the motions, enjoying what I could and getting through the things that I couldn’t.  I was 22 years old when I discovered what I wanted to do with the rest of my life – the thing that I couldn’t live without.  Earlier than some, later than others.  Enough time to get me the experience at life that would make me good enough at writing about it.  I’ve made enough mistakes to learn from them, and I’m at the appropriate distance from those things that I’m capable of looking at them objectively and turning them into positives.  But even after discovering that – my love in life – everything else was an endless question mark.  Wants and don’t-wants traded spots on their respective lists periodically, depending on the circumstances and the time.

Now, at 25…in this moment?  I think I’ve got it.

Happy late birthday to me.

It was worth the lateness.

Suddenly, being closer to 30 than 20…Well…It doesn’t sound so bad anymore.