Wednesday, May 29, 2013

You Don't Always Have to Love It

Sometimes being a writer, you will be super in the groove, excited about every scene that comes next, wake up the in morning and can't wait to get to your computer. You can't stop thinking about your characters so much that you can't sleep at night and you keep getting out of bed to write another scene. The book I wrote last December was like that.

And then there are books like the one I'm writing now... where I know the idea and characters are solid, and interesting-ish things are happening, but my passion for the story is only at a low simmer. I sit down each afternoon to write... and then go check twitter again. And Facebook. And maybe watch yet another John Green vlogbrothers video because that guy is so entertaining and compulsively watchable! And then, oh yeah, I'll click back to my Word document and type maybe another hundred words.

Here is the thing: there is this myth out there that a book will be no good if you don't just loooooove it while you're writing it. That somehow your lack of passion will translate into lack of reader passion because you just can't capture the magic mojo. But this is not true. I know this first hand, since the book that was THE HARDEST THING I'VE EVER WRITTEN has gotten the best reviews. I'm referring of course, to Override, which long-time blog followers will know was the bane of my existence for over a year. I wrote it once. And then wrote it over from scratch again. And then AGAIN. I did not love that book when I was writing that last draft. I'm pretty sure that the word 'hate' even got tossed around for awhile there. But I knew that I did have a deadline in a month so the dang thing had better get written.

And the thing was (and believe me it shocked me more than anyone!), all of the time and attention that book had gotten both plot-wise and character wise had turned it into a really good book.

Maybe some people in magical candy author land love every single part of every single book they write. But then there's the rest of us, slogging through unending middles, muddling through murky characterization, spending a whole week trying to get one friggin' scene right and then skipping it in the end to figure out later so I can at least avoid stalling completely on the whole project... oh, ahem, that might have veered into describing my own past week a little bit ;)

Suffice it to say, I may not love this book I'm in the middle of drafting. I think there's lots of work ahead reshaping and crafting it, but like I said, sometimes that can make it an even better book than ones that have slipped out easily the first time around. That's what I'm holding on to as I muddle through the middle! What are you guys working on? What's your process like? Do you give up and move on to another project when the passion dries up, or keep barreling on through?

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