The other day on the Sweat website, Larissa Ione wrote a post about Recharging The Batteries. The whole idea is that some of us feel guilty when we don’t write [raises hand] and will often slog through and write something, even if we know it is total crap, because crap is at least something on paper and that can be edited, right? She suggests that it’s a better idea to take some time off from the story, recharge your batteries with books, movies, whatever, and more than likely your brain will get you back on track, and you’ll make up that word count with much better ideas. Well I agree with her on many fronts.
And then I have what happened to me. I finished my weekly goal by Thursday last week (and thank God for it, as I didn’t have a moment to myself to try to write again until Monday), so I wound up taking off three days from my story that weren’t really planned. And as often happens when stuff like that comes up, my brain kinda got out of gear. So when I sat down to write yesterday it was a very painful process that left me with a scene that I felt like was utter crap. And I am okay with that because it got me back in the groove. Even if I don’t keep it (and I’m almost positive I won’t), I got myself back on the wagon. Sometimes that’s really hard and takes a day or two of crap writing to get things flowing again. I can’t say that I advocate always waiting until things come together to start writing again after taking a few days off.
So today I’m doing what I often do when I feel like I have derailed: I am going to reread and figure out where I went astray. I can pretty much pinpoint it already. Everything I wrote past Wyatt and Marin’s non-date and second kiss was totally unplanned, unscripted, and not where I wanted to go. It was 4k+ of detour, scenes that didn’t have any real bearing on my outline or the rest of my plot. I deviated from even my loose outline. So I’m going to reread, but I think I know already that I’m going to be axing the whole chapter and a half that encompasses. I went places I wasn’t ready to go with my characters yet. Which wasn’t a totally fruitless exercise, actually, as I think it gave me a bit more insight into my heroine and how she is more likely to deal with my hero. I had her doing something that I don’t think she would do and that’s part of what derailed me. But hey, at least I realized it at 4k of a detour instead of 40k.
I suppose it would be a good time to figure out how far in the hole that’s gonna put me… Hmm, looks like about 3700 words in the red. Could be worse.