When I last wrote for Thursday Night Writes I was drawing to the close of the third major revision of my mystery. Now I’m in a major slump of a setback.
What happened? Too many things. Too many hurdles to leap, too many plot changes, too many revisions that could take me all the way back to the beginning of my novel.
Last year about this time I took an on-line course with Paul Harding, the author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Tinkers. He said that when we stop writing on a scene, a dialog, or the whole book, it’s because it’s hard, and it has become work.
My cozy has always been, if nothing else, fun. Now, with everything I need to do to push it forward, it has become work. I’m starting to sound like Maynard G. Krebs from the old Dobie Gillis show. I know that must date me, but if you don’t recognize the name Maynard G. Krebs, you might have heard of Gilligan’s Island. When Maynard grew up, he became Gilligan, but while he was still Maynard he would cringe at the mere mention of the word ‘work’. As Gilligan, however, he always did his share, or more, of the work he and his fellow cast-aways had to do to survive on their deserted island.
The holidays are coming to my rescue, giving me all the excuses I need NOT TO WORK ON THE BOOK RIGHT NOW. And that’s fine, it happens every year. My thoughts turn to turkey dinners and then on to Christmas and knitting for various lucky people.
However this year my hiatus from writing is because I’m cringing at word work, not because it’s time to shift gears to holiday mode. And therein lies my moral dilemma. I don’t like the idea that I’m a lily-livered, weak-kneed, coward when it comes to re-arranging a few words on a page, a few lines of a scene, a few pages in a chapter, a few chapters in the WHOLE BOOK!
If by January I have not succeeded in getting back into the story then I’ll have to seek professional help. But I know I can do it. It’s grow up time for me and Maynard, and when the holidays are over I’ll welcome getting back to work with a renewed vigor. I hope.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.