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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Poking the WIP with a stick (stalled work)

If you've been following me for any length of time, you'll know that this blog isn't exactly regular. I'm capable of dropping off the face of the Internet for weeks at a time. Well, the face of this blog, anyway. Facebook and Twitter ... eheheh ... *blush*

This time around, it wasn't just because I was trying to focus on edits to the WIP. No, lately the WIP has felt like this lump that I'm poking at with a stick to see if it'll move. Parts of it have felt glommed together and they need to be teased apart so that the story has breathing room, but the lump has remained a lump and it has not been fun. When my eyes glaze over at a story that I'm in love with, that I believe has the potential to be great if I can just get it right, then I know that something isn't working. But I just couldn't figure out what. I've banged my head on the proverbial desk often this month.

Thankfully, last week, things changed.

First of all, I picked up a book from my TBR shelf. My TBR shelf is massive and would sag under the weight of unread books if it weren't so sturdy. I've been having a bit of trouble reading lately, something I'm trying to work on but which is still taking time.

Thankfully, this book reminded me why it's important to keep reading. Sometimes a good book can jumpstart my creativity. Sometimes a good book can remind me of why I write. Sometimes a good book has the power to make my heart sing, and this one did. I can learn a lot from reading, and this particular awesome book, THE ENCHANTMENT EMPORIUM by Tanya Huff, was exactly what I needed. (Magic in Calgary. Canadian in-jokes. Fantastic premises. Lots of humour. Yes, I needed that!)

The second important happening was that a few contests came my way. One I knew about and didn't think I'd enter, but an entry took me by surprise (it's a poetry contest, and I suddenly found the words for what I wanted to say). The other was a contest in a completely different genre that I'd love to write in, but which I have only toyed with when not working on my YA fantasy novel. With the latter, I was asked to submit a first chapter and a synopsis.

Boy, did I need this.

Even if nothing comes of either entry, it felt good to write fresh words, not just edit existing ones. I wasn't just polishing or fixing or unglomming. I was creating.

Yesterday, after a weekend off from writing, I finally cracked open the WIP and started working on the glommed lump. I have a plan, and I feel very good about it. See, this time, I've sharpened the stick.

And this time, I'm going to make the lump move.


  1. Awesome! I have been in that same place, both in terms of the blog and the WIP.

    For the WIP, I finally gave in and went back to the beginning for a little revision before I finish the climax. I just felt like I had too many loose ends that needed a little more teasing out before I blew the whole thing up.

    Let's hope it works...

  2. Mary Ann,

    I feel the same way. Or I did. In my case, I've been post-outlining (creating an outline from what I have), and that's helping me pinpoint some of the problems.

    As for the blog ... well, I keep note of things I want to post about, and post them when the inspiration strikes. I'm definitely planning on posting some more conference notes!

  3. Found your blog! Put a link to here on our post for tomorrow - Guess being our host will make you blog once a week :0)