Wednesday, 11 April 2012
WHEN WRITING IS HARD
It is now many years ago since that day I was whinging to my teenage daughter about needing “something to “happen” in another manuscript. She said, “For goodness sake, Mum, get a gun and shoot someone!” Well, for that story, Burnout, I did get the gun and had a fun scene with some drunken hooligans doing some target shooting enough to traumatise my heroine already traumatised by guerillas in Africa. Then of course there is that old kangaroo shooter and the shoot out with “baddies” in the Baragula books.
I have always admired writers who somehow manage to work on more than one fiction manuscript at a time. It has always seemed that my brain can only deal adequately with the one set of characters and their story.
Depending on how much of the manuscript I have written before an interruption so I have to switch gears, I have even found it difficult to get back into the story when the current manuscript has been interrupted for many hours, days, weeks, by other demands on my “writing brain”. These include such things as requests for a rewrite from an editor on another story, or even having to again read through a manuscript in the proof editing stage. It seems once I have to become immersed again in another story the uncompleted one is so very hard to pick up and continue writing.
And of course, there are more than these two interruptions that disrupt my writing a manuscript but the following will do for today.
Not wanting to repeat the mistake I made over thirteen years of rejections on my first ever manuscript, I decided to start writing another book rather than wait until I had sold Return to Baragula. An idea had been brewing for awhile and I always toss story ideas into a folder. So, the setting, the story, and characters were chosen and at last I started writing Her Outback Cowboy. Then the major interruption came.
At last I had signed a contract for Return to Baragula. Very exciting. However, during the rewriting and working on that story, as had happened with my Heartsong books minor characters started to demand their own story be told. Now that at last a publisher was going to release Book One , the next two in that Baragula series had to be written. Poor Her Outback Cowboy had to be put aside – until recently after the launch of Justice at Baragula.
Other interruptions have come while trying to get back into the heads of these new main characters, Jenny and Dave. Er... sorry, make that Jennifer and David! Now I have written well over 40,000 words written of what will probably be about 85,000 – 90,000 words of their story but this last week or so just seem to be stuck for “what happens next”.
I didn’t like the prologue I had written a few years ago so am trying to weave the same information into the story elswewhere for the reader. I am beginning to think I have not researched the setting enough, the possible physical and spiritual conflicts enough.
And... Horrors! Not enough has “happened”. Where is the action? Is it boring?
And what am I doing right now?
Well, besides probably too much reading of other writer’s books, I find all kinds of things that just have to be done around the place. And of course, the writing at this section of the story I’m at right now is so hard, I’m procrastinating by writing a blog post about how hard it is to get into Her Outback Cowboy again by writing about how hard it is sometimes to work on an old manuscript again.
On second thoughts...
Perhaps I do need to “get a gun” into this manuscript! But being another inspirational romance, the hero or heroine mustn’t shoot at each other of course.
But what if... ? Nah, that won’t work. Had stolen cattle in Outback From Baragula.
What about a flood? Nah, had that in Return to Baragula.
Maybe the jealous neighbour from the closest homestead hundreds of kilometres away turns up again? Mmm...
It will probably just have to be that gun once more!