Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Limping Through the "I Stink" Phase

I've been working on a particularly important scene in my novel knowing that it has to have huge impact for the story to payoff well.

Reading what I've written so far--and the dreck that keeps flowing from my 'pen'--I'm worse that riddled with doubt. I hate what I see, in all its permutations. It's boring, trite, and maudlin. It has lumpy rhythms and it smells bad.

This is one of the moments in a project tailor-made to test how serious I am.

Every project with anything more than trifling ambitions has these kinds of moments sprinkled throughout. Crises of faith, I'll call them.

All I can do is grind away at it, determined not to let the struggle shake my confidence too seriously. I will undoubtedly come back to this scene several dozen times, trying surgeries both minor and major. I will likely have to let it sit and fester a while (to give bored and disgusted eyes a chance at renewal).

Eventually, I'll read it and feel like it has started to come around, like some change I've made has excised the cancer of ineptitude. And in that moment, I'll likely have a sense of what made it better, of what it needs to go from a scene that doesn't stink to one that sings.

Between now and then, I must persist. This is simply another permutation of the world asking me, "How Serious Are You?"

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