Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shaken Confidence, Muddy Vision

Novel writing is a humbling experience.

In my final stretch of working on my current book (I hope), I'm struggling to make the kind of improvements I really want to see.

I have more than enough words, and the basic dramatic structure seems to work okay, but the scenes I feel need to be exceptional don't yet move me the way I want them to.

I'm sure, as I plod along now, that part of my problem is snow-blindness. I've been looking at these scenes too many times in quick succession to be able to truly see them any more.

As I've been doing some diversionary work on a Smashwords book (a collection of short stories and photos), I've read many of my early short stories and found some stretches of writing that strike me the way I hope to have the novel strike me.

I'm considering taking a break from this particular book to work on a short story to submit to Ellery Queen magazine. The size, genre, and tone of this story are different enough that it may, with the simple help of time, clear my vision.

I hate to move away from the story when I've already blown past my self-imposed deadline, but a good outcome is more important than my deadline, and this feels like the sensible thing to do.