Facing the Truth




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.


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