Friday, May 22, 2009

I Just Want to Read My Book

It ain't all love these days between my Work In Progress (WIP) and me. The spark is gone.

I pull up the draft and think, "You need to structure in a new scene here." Or "How is this sex plot-relevant?" I have highlighted sections in the manuscript where I've written notes to myself like, "Good God, what were you thinking?" And, "Put some sex in here."

This is starting to feel like a marital slump year (If you've had more than two years of marriage, you know exactly what I mean). I'm going through the motions. It looks good on the outside. But the passion? Pffft.

When this happens to Mr. Stevens and me, we throw money at the problem (hire a sitter, go away, buy the expensive dinner) and he listens to me talk until I feel sexy again.

But WIP and I? Well, SHE doesn't have any money yet. And unlike the mister, she doesn't understand how to give a sympathetic nod, or a grunt of acknowledgement. She just sits there and waits for more sex. And she is less than enthusiastic when I'm done.

I want the magic back.

What about you? Writers, how do you handle the WIP-Slump? Readers--can you tell when you're reading a book that the writer was just going through the motions?


  1. I had this happen to me yesterday.

    And I do exactly what you do with your relationship. It isn't about the money, it is about getting away from the regular grind.

    So I'll put my characters in a situation they wouldn't normally find themselves. I write contemporary. I'll take those characters and put them in a paranormal setting, have them fight demons.

    It gets the creative juices flowing. Adds some zing. And that zing carries over to my current manuscript.

  2. I try to make a resonable daily goal so not to get in a slump. I write a good 1k words a day, maybe a few more. It seems to allow me to keep it fresh in my mind, get my four boys where they need to go, dinner on the table and enjoy my husband.
    If I go at this pace-I found that I can easily get a full novel done in four months. It makes my mind relax and I don't rush to finish the MS. When my mind is relaxed the characters keep talking to me. I carry a notebook around for the MS I am working on and jot down any ideas I may get when not infront of the computer. That way when I sit down to type my 1k words, my ideas are there and it flows.
    I also will take a quick day trip or weekend trip to research a place in my WIP. I write contemp. which is usually centered around where we live-nothing like Europe etc... That gets me excited and gives me ideas for plot later in my MS.
    Good luck!! I know you will get your Chi back!!

  3. What I do - I dive headfirst into some good old fashioned Apex slush. Or if we're on hiatus, I read a book. Or go for a walk. Or go shoot pool. Or something. I try to make the voices in my head shut up and go do something else - like make *them* go read a book, go for a walk, or shoot pool! LOL

  4. I do several different things: Work on another story, stop writing all together for a bit, or read a really well written book.

  5. I see two different strategies in your posts, Crystal and Mari: Distract yourself, or refill the well. In Kimber's case, it's a bit of both: Refill the well by distracting the characters!

    And Tonya--you are my new structure guru. Build it into your lifestyle, and you never have the problem in the first place. Very cool!