Rewriting THE LONG ROAD – Week 5

I...didn't say no. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES, FRIENDS!

I…didn’t say no. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES, FRIENDS!

To recap, my goal from last week was:

I should have all the major events of the war built out in the Aerdh Bible. I will probably have an utterly absurd file structure brewing in there. The next big step is to create a visual timeline of the war itself with the arcs of all involved groups represented, so hopefully I’ll be organized enough to start that.

What actually happened:
None of that! I got distracted. Waylaid by my own sprawling brain. I am most of the way through mapping out entries in the Aerdh Bible for the course of the war, but the thing is I keep veering off course. When I’m sketching out an event, sometimes the event is fascinating, or the characters in the event are fascinating, or both, and I feel a story brewing. A good story! With excellent themes! Which could be structured in a very interesting way! You can see the process happen below:

1) OH WAIT THIS IS COOL Syndrome

Slide2

a febrile mind at work

As you can see here, I interrupted my own writing to make a note about something I want to write. Initially, this was just a mark-it-put-it-aside-for-later thing, but then on the bus ride home this happened:

2) MAYBE I’LL JUST START IT Syndrome

2013-04-04 11.21.01

trusty notebook! we meet again!

I wrote the entire hour long commute. I cranked out 5 full pages. Maybe I just missed the pure hit of narrative fiction writing. I don’t know. All I know is when I sat down next time to work on the Aerdh Bible, dutifully stowing the notebook containing the spontaneous beginnings of a draft of a story I really shouldn’t be writing just now, this happened:

3) IT DOESN’T COUNT AS CHEATING IF I’M JUST THINKING ABOUT IT Syndrome

eyes on the prize, Sanders

eyes on the prize, Sanders

Yeah. So. I started a Scrivener project where I am currently outlining all the super cool story ideas bursting forth from the Aerdh Bible process which would not work in the actual book I am trying to rewrite. BUT I’M NOT WRITING THEM, OH NO, SO IT’S COOL TO TOOL AROUND IN HERE INSTEAD OF MAKING ACTUAL PROGRESS ON THE ACTUAL BOOK THESE STORIES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE RELATED TO.

The thing about me is that I am a pretty disciplined writer. I have a hell of a work ethic, and I trust myself to churn out reams of text with little effort. But for this project, I need to become a slightly more focused writer. All these story ideas will still be here when I’m done with the rewrite. The burgeoning stories are extremely useful in terms of building up ambient richness for the book itself, but they are also new and shiny and different and intriguing and seductive. Hopefully this craving to write them will dissipate a little when I actually get to the writing stage of the book.

By next week, I should (FINALLY BECAUSE I WON’T BE DISTRACTED) have all the major events of the war built out in the Aerdh Bible. I will probably have an utterly absurd file structure brewing in there. The next big step is to create a visual timeline of the war itself with the arcs of all involved groups represented, so hopefully I’ll be organized enough to start that (BECAUSE I WILL BE MAKING PROGRESS ON THIS OVERARCHING GOAL FOR REALSIES).

2 thoughts on “Rewriting THE LONG ROAD – Week 5

  1. I’m about to do a post about being distracted by ideas too. There’s a time for dreaming, a time for the creative work, and a time for the business/research work, but sometimes it’s hard to shift.

    Like

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who does this! I have been trying to structure my ‘writing time’ a little so that I actually *do* the business/research stuff (with as you can see limited results).

      Like

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