Even though I’ve written 78,000 words and much of it is near final draft stuff, I’m still slogging in the muck as I try to finish this novel. The thing I like and despise about writing–well, my writing–is that no matter how well you develop a chapter outline and no matter how carefully you write it, the story doesn’t really reveal itself for days or even months and constant re-writing. It I had world enough and time enough, this process could be enjoyable but it isn’t. I suppose this kind of frustration leads to writers block.
What happens is that during the night my brain processes what I’ve written, and this is well and good–I love this. The subconscious seems to connect the many dangling threads and when the work is done and I’m back at the computer in the morning, there’s an idea that needs to be incorporated. The problem is, sometimes those ideas must be inserted much earlier in the story, and frequently enough this leads to more threads that need connecting.
I like threads. I like stories with thousands of threads running, threads that I might not notice on the first read, but linger in my mind and draw me back and deeper into a story. I suspect that the typical sci-fi reader, reading for enjoyment, doesn’t particularly care about the threads but rather the cool stuff that’s happening. So if you dwell on the subtle threads to satisfy your sense of what is important, you can really slow down the action. Frankly, I don’t know what I’m creating. It could be pure self-indulgent crap. And that’s a whole ‘nuther subject and another type of slogging through muck. I mean, when the muck is too deep I have to go back again and clear it out to make the story move along.
Writing is hard work.