Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sometimes you just need to change your perspective.

The kids are away for the week, visiting my aunt. I've been looking forward to this since, well, since they came home from her house earlier this summer. It's not that I don't love my kids, but if you have them, you know it's difficult to get anything accomplished when they're around. And I'm an accomplisher girl. Play's fun and all, but I have all sorts of guilt that I'm not writing/cleaning/baking/reorganizing the garage. Yeah, I'm a Virgo. You guessed, right?

So I'm very excited to have a whole week, almost entirely uninterrupted (started new job Sunday, but still training), to write. As you all know, it's August already, and for those of you #write2theend-ers that means our deadline is quickly approaching. This means a lot of work for me, because my book, no matter how much I seem to write, seems to be stuck in the rut of being 2/3s complete.


It's a difficult book to write. My MC Amanda has a serious problem with depression, and, as I use the technique of "Method Writing," I have to get into her psyche when I write. The spot I'm in right now is that kind of depression where you feel exhausted, but can't sleep. Where you're hungry, but nothing sounds good. Where you have a lot to do, but can't seem to bring yourself to get any of it done. And I'm trying to write this. I'm dying.

I'm a huge fan of, if you can't see the solution, then look at the problem from a different direction. So I decided to try for a new approach. I decided to write the end. Okay, not the end end, but the scene before the last scene. I've actually had to do this with the two books before ATW, and it's always brought me clarity and helped propel me to the finish. Because it tells me exactly where I'm going, and I want to see how it unfolds.

Of course, deciding to write the end and actually writing it are two different things. I sat down a gazillion times with nothing, tried taking the dog for a walk, then a run, then a bath to clear my mind, all to no avail. I started to feel the disappointment. The irritation that I have a whole week at my disposal and will end with nothing to show for it. Then Monday night happened.

I read THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins last week. It's one of those books that sucks you in, and you find yourself at 2am and finished, then up again in the morning with it still in your mind. I guess I loved it a little. I was super excited to read CATCHING FIRE, the sequel, but told myself I'd wait until I finished my first draft. Well, with first draft stunted, I decided to go out and buy the book. I started reading as soon as I got home, curious to see how she would follow THG, and immediately thrilled to see that she followed it with absolute awesomeness. I took a brief break to watch the band MENOMENA on Jimmy Fallon (they killed btw), then went back to the book. I was finished by one and went right to my computer.

I suppose if/when my book is published, I should thank Suzanne Collins in the acknowledgments for helping me out. All this stuck in a rut of un-feeling was bogging me down. The emotional intensity between Peeta and Katniss, Katniss and Gale really inspired me to write the scene ATW needed. I put on my Jeremy Enigk playlist (my equivalent of duct tape music- good for anything I need), sat and wrote, barely noticing the clock (except at 1:11, 2:22, 3:33, and 4:44 so I could make wishes) until the scene was complete. Five pages later, at five o'clock in the morning it was done.

I went to bed, got three hours of sleep, then was up yesterday looking it over. I won't say it's perfect, but the meat is there. The best news, though, is that I'm now back into the book. Emotionally invested. I went back to my original file, and was able to write over a thousand words and move the story along. And I'm looking forward to what I'll accomplish today.

It's a good place.

Listening to: Local Natives "Gorilla Manor"

xo. kb.

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