Work and relaxation are incompatible

Once again, my mind boggles at the things that boggle my mind.

Why did I think I’d get any work done on my new book at a spa ? Am I insane? Did I not realize that post-massage euphoric hazes are best spent lazing on a sofa in front of a fire, not pouring over character development issues, hero’s journey charts and psychology books? Do I still not realize (after trying so hard to convince family and non-writer friends that writing is work) that writing is, in fact, WORK???

That said, I did get a fair bit done last week… Just not as much as I’d hoped to. I read a few craft books that I’d only glanced at before and they sparked some ideas. I now have two of the main characters for my next book pretty well tied down… and the overall idea and concept for the book is solidifying… I’m just a little short on details… like what the character arcs are and — you know — minor things like “what happens in this book?”

With other books, I might have started at this point. Once I had the idea and main characters in my mind, I might have been so impatient to get going, to start telling the stories of these people who are becoming real to me that I’d just start typing…

But I’m planning on taking a bit more time with this one. I don’t expect everything to be figured out before I start, but I do want to have enough so that when it goes off the rails 120 pages in, (which they all do), and I start to panic and doubt the story, (which I always do), maybe, just maybe, the outlining/plotting work I do now, will pull me in off the inevitable mid-way-through-the-book-ledge I’ll find myself perched on. I’m actually hoping this up front planning will result in less time overall. (Tune in to a blog post in 6 months time where I explain why this didn’t work. How’s that for pessimism?)

On the upside… Had a couple of great massages this week and every inch of my skin is exfoliated and buffed to a high sheen.

  4 comments for “Work and relaxation are incompatible

  1. March 12, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    I’m just a little short on details… like what the character arcs are and — you know — minor things like “what happens in this book?”

    LOL!! Yes – a plot is a good thing!

  2. March 12, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    I’ve been plotting ad naseum, as well, to avoid just the same things you are attempting to. Thing is, I’m so obsessed over character, scene detail, etcetera, that I somehow can’t begin writing the damn thing. Death by plotting? I think so. Glad you are buffed and polished. Nothing better to offset the drear winter days we’ve been having.

  3. March 12, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    Lol! Maureen – *I* could’ve written that post. Love the characters, want to get going, but… what the heck is supposed to happen???

    I read somewhere that it’s usually a good idea to just throw yourself out there for the first 20k words, and only then go back and plot. Things will be clearer in your head by then about where the story is headed, and where it should start.

    Hmm… maybe I should be taking my own advice to heart!

  4. March 13, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    Jealous…that’s what I am. I so die to be able to go to a spa for a while. I’m glad you had such a relaxing time.

    I do the same thing with my books. Start with an idea then start writing without a clear idea where I’m going. I’m slowly learning to plot :).

    So happy you’re back. :)

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