Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Um.

Just because I have absolutely nothing to report on the Bell-Men completion front doesn't mean I have to stop blogging, I guess.

I don't know what my problem is with (re-)finishing Bell-Men. It's weird. I've never had trouble like this--it's like I've run into a solid wall of 'now what OMG what next?' and can't get past it.

Actually, I have had this trouble before, some three-odd years ago when I was rewriting the sequel to The Weredeer (that still doesn't have a really good title--I call it Stag at Bay despite its being generic). Like Bell-Men, Stag at Bay was a true rewrite. I had a finished draft that I hated, so I cut the entire latter half--and I do mean cut, almost every word went away--and rewrote it entirely. Then I wasn't happy with the result and by God I did it again. I like the book now, but it about killed me at the time.

The main problem with that book was a lack of plot. I hadn't done enough plotting going in, and then I'd muscled through anyway without knowing what I wanted to do with the book. During the rewrites, I remember spending hours stripping wallpaper from the bathroom while talking out loud to myself, trying to work out a new plot. That I actually preferred stripping wallpaper to writing shows just how desperate the situation was. (I did a terrible job on the bathroom, incidentally. I just hope the writing was better.)

Alas, I have no wallpapered bathroom to deal with now. I'm just going to have to stop reading other people's books for one stupid day OMG and knuckle down for an old-fashioned plotting session. I am literally within two or three thousand words of THE END. There is absolutely no excuse for me dragging my feet like this.

17 comments:

Natalie L. Sin said...

Two words: Spontaneous nudity.

If that doesn't work, create a soundtrack for your novel. It will take a few hours, and jostle the muse.

Alan W. Davidson said...

A reward. Perhaps you have to dangle an amazing carrot to prompt yourself into completing the task?

K.C. Shaw said...

Natalie--Both are excellent ideas. Since it's winter in the book, I might not go with the spontaneous nudity, though. I wouldn't want anyone to catch cold.

Alan--The biggest reward is finishing the damn thing, but I may have to promise myself ice cream or something.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Buy yourself a gift certificate to your favorite books store and treat yourself when it is done.

Aaron Polson said...

Think of the rabid fans (um, me for one) who want to get our claws (er, hands) on Bell-Men. You wouldn't want to deprive us, would you?

LMEighmy said...

Do you have a friend or two who can brainstorm with you? I have lousy success coming up with good ideas on my own, but with one or two friends, I often get more ideas than I know what to do with.

K.C. Shaw said...

Jamie--Oh, man, is that a good idea! I hadn't thought to bribe myself with books. Books are always good. :)

Aaron--There are so many embarrassing sex scenes in this book I don't know if I want anyone to read it, especially people who know me. (only sorta kidding)

LMEighmy--Sometimes I'll use my mom as a sounding-board. She's got laryngitis today, but maybe I can give her a notebook so she could write her suggestions.

Jeremy Kelly said...

So, THIS is what I have to look forward to when finishing my book. Yikes. Maybe I should look at getting in construction.

K.C. Shaw said...

I suggest just getting it right the first time. Then you don't have to go through this part. You'd think I'd have figured it out last time I did this.

Cate Gardner said...

Two or three thousand words!!! Get it done, get it done, get it done. You have to have faith in yourself, Bell Men will rock.

*You made me use three exclamation marks and that's never good.

K.C. Shaw said...

I did do some writing over lunch; I'll do more tonight!

!!!

Lertulo said...

I'd spend some time plotting out the sequel, and see if that helps you decide what you need to tie up and/or leave hanging in this one.

K.C. Shaw said...

Funny you should mention that. :) One of the things that I think has been holding me back is how to wrap up the loose ends so that this book is satisfying but I've set up for a sequel. I was actually mulling it over as I drove into work this morning. Um, not that I'm typing this from work or anything.

Anne Spollen said...

I'm loving the image of talking to yourself while wall papering -- I almost choked on my coffee.

And I GET that image, too. It's part of that collective disorder writers share.

K.C. Shaw said...

My dog was sure confused, that's for certain. He kept coming to check on me to make sure I wasn't talking to him.

Jarmara Falconer said...

I'm sure you will come up with something good. Have you tried re-reading your novel's notebooks. I keep a file of ideas for my book. It's called 'ideas and thoughts for Dark Interlude' In it I write every thought and ideas I've had for the book. When I read back through it I find things I have forgotten about, some can be silly little things at the time, but I find that the idea can lead to aqnother much better idea.

If you have such a thing have a read through, who knows you might just find the plot you have been looking for and good luck.

K.C. Shaw said...

That's a good idea. For this book, I don't really have a notebook that I've been keeping, just a few pages of jotted notes that I really need to pull out and keep together.

What I ended up doing the last two nights, though, is reading the entire book from the beginning. That got it all fresh in my mind again and when I came to the part where I'm stuck, I started typing. Nearly there!