Monday, October 1, 2012

It's all about momentum

The hardest part about being sick isn't necessarily the fact that my head and neck feel like they're getting chiseled from the inside out. It's the time I lose because I can't concentrate on my WIP. Because nothing kills a story faster than losing momentum.

I'm not one to write a lot of drafts. However, I'm also not one to do a ton of editing once I'm done. I fall somewhere in between, polishing a little as I go, slowing down when a scene takes a little bit longer. I literally cannot leave a blank space with a note, "Sex scene goes here," because for me, every scene counts toward the character's ultimate ending. How do I know that particular scene isn't going to be somehow crucial in a way I can't predict?

So sometimes I might slow down to get through a section of a story, but I always trudge forward. It's that energy that drives me on, that sense of being in the thick of it that dissipates when you have to leave a story for too long. I know writers who stop and go back to polish, polish, polish, and while I have tremendous respect for them and their work, that kind of approach completely kills my creative drive. I need that urgency that comes from the next moment in the story, and then the next one after that.

It's like making a lifechange, whether it's in adding exercise or modifying your diet. People often fail because they make a mistake, or get interrupted, and then decide to give up entirely. It's easy to throw in the towel on a story when you're not wrapped up in the urgency of it. You've had time to talk yourself out of it, or lose the fire.

It's all about the momentum. You can't reach where you're going if you're not always going forward.