The above quote is one of my all time favorites. In writing, as in life, it can be hard to face the truth. We delicately pick away at a story with a red pen changing a sentence here and there, when we really need to attack it with scissors and cut out whole sections. We tell ourselves that we are in a slump, when we really know our story is simply not working and needs to be trashed.
While I am waiting for my wonderful beta readers to get back to me about the sequel to Overlook (thank you again, you fabulous people), I have been attempting to chip away at my other projects. It hasn’t been going well.
I have been staring at my Galapagos mystery for three days now, and can not make it work. This novel has been my first foray into fully outlining a book ahead of time. Theoretically, I “know” what happens in each chapter, but when I sit down to write, it’s dreck. I can not make the characters talk to each other like normal human beings. One of my critique partners who an early chapter said it read like a travelogue. She was right, and that pisses me off to no end.
I’ve come up with a group of interesting characters. The setting is great. The murder is creative and I’ve come up with some good red herrings. Yet, the first draft is sooooo boring. I mean, total snoozeville boring. I am the author and it’s boring me. I think I have to face the truth and start over.
I think the next step is to throw out the outline, sit down with a fresh notebook, and start writing longhand. I’ll still have the same character commit the murder, but let the rest of the action happen as it happens.