Writing: Does it EVER cooperate?

Okay, if you’ve written long enough, you know that the entire process can mock you. Or maybe the Muse is nicer to you. She can be a real bitch to me. It’s like if you have one easy streak, she has to remind you that you should stay humble. And she’s good at that.

I enjoyed writing my last book a little too much. It felt like it came easy. Too easy. Whenever I like a book too much, it usually means it has problems and I wasn’t tough enough on it. Blood Lust will be online this week, and I might have to hide my head under my pillow. I hope readers like it as much as I did. It has as much of a mystery plot as an urban fantasy/action feel, so who knows? But that’s what felt right to me. The romance my agent wanted came easy, too. I was starting to do a happy dance, thinking that I’d finally found the Nirvana of what worked for me. Silly me.

I like to write shorter stuff between novels to decompress. It’s my treat before I start plotting a new book and drawing up character wheels. Babet and Prosper always make me happy, so I thought I’d sit down and pound out a quick, fun novella. But I couldn’t get the damned thing to start right. I couldn’t capture the right feel. I tried to pummel it into submission with plot points, and it just stuck out its tongue at me. I hate it when stories do that. Finally, I threw up my hands in disgust and gave it to my critique partners and said “help!”

They told me it didn’t work, either. But no one knew what to do with it. Disgusted, I tossed it in the pile of “I’ll get to it someday” crap I have on my desk. (Don’t ask). And guess what? Just when I was ready to cast Babet and Prosper into the no-man’s land of pain-in-the-ass stories, they spoke to me. They told me I started in the wrong place. I started with the story’s set-up and big problem, and I should have focused on them–because that’s what I like about Babet and Prosper–the characters and their relationships. So I listened to them, rewrote it, and now, I’m happy with it.

The Muse can be evil, but she’s still my best writing friend. Hope she’s nice to you in December!

Blood Lust should be online this week.
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10 thoughts on “Writing: Does it EVER cooperate?

  1. My muse likes to hit me in the shower, and then just peace out the second I sit down to accomplish anything. Very frustrating. But I say if writing a book seems to go easily … I mean, that has to be a good sign, doesn’t it? Writing doesn’t have to be hard to be good.

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  2. So where’s the revison? Don’t be chicken. Lemme see it, while you start thinking about more blood and guts to write *snicker* before the season turns you all gooey. (I’m down to 8K left to the finish line.)

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    1. Uggh, it’s in the computer, waiting for some time in January when I look at it one last time before putting it up. Right now, I’m enjoying the blood and guts, starting the third Wolf’s Bane novel. You’ve got to be close to the finish line. 8K should go fast, everything’s in place by then. I started on your pages. Freddy’s a winner.

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  3. Congratulations on Blood Lust, and I empathize with those times when a normally pleasant writing experience goes awry. The harder I work at it, the harder it resists being worked. I’m glad that once you tossed it aside, the story which wanted to be written came to the surface and you enjoyed writing it.

    Sometimes I think the writing muse reminds us to stay humble by showing us how bad it really can get.

    Great entry, Judith. Thank you.

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  4. I read and tweeted your blog post. Isn’t it frustrating when you know something’s off in your story and you just can’t figure out what it is? There’s nothing worse than a story that’s “flat.” Hope the grammar and writing books help you get your writing groove back.

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  5. Ah, that fickle muse! It seems like the more you try to control it and the happier you are with your story, the stronger the whammy!
    But isn’t this what makes us stretch and grow? Who said it writing would be easy!

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