As I’ve been working on the finale for The Chronicles of Jonathan Tibbs I’ve been repeatedly experiencing creeping productivity lows followed by surges.
This can be attributed to a number of different factors. A main one being that I now have a one year old that makes it harder than ever to get time in front of the keyboard.
That said, there are things happening in the actual writing this time around that I haven’t had as much trouble with in the past. I’ve always had the basic foundations for the book in my head. Sure, edits have been made here and there along the way as I wrote TNH and TNP, but the fundamental story has not changed. Still, every writer will tell there is often a wide gap between how a scene he/she imagined will play out and what actually happens once they start putting the words down.
In the past, if I couldn’t get what I wanted out of a scene, I didn’t let it shut me down. If a chapter wasn’t working I’d go onto the next. Sometimes the very act of skipping ahead would jar lose the answer I needed anyway. Then, I could go back to whatever section wasn’t quite working and fix it.
This hasn’t been a real option on the finale.
This (hopefully) being the final book in the series, certain plot lines have to come to pass at certain moments. I haven’t been able to skip ahead with much confidence because I need to see the reality of how a scene worked its self out as opposed to how I’m hoping it will.
More specifically, I need to know exactly what characters A, B, C, and D know, where they are, and what condition they’re in, before writing the next scene. The ability to assume that the natural progression of the story will get them where I need them in the condition I imagined is a bit more of a gamble.
Of course, I’m only really ‘gambling’ with my time, but as I mentioned–time isn’t as abundant as it once was.
This is all to say I’ve noticed a pattern in the writing lately where certain key scenes lead me into week long periods where I try to tinker the words into working before I finally see the answer, realize I’ve gone about it all wrong, and then crank out the finished scene in a single day. All the writing that came before doesn’t necessarily go to waste, as it still influences the final version, but man… those treading water periods take their toll on the spirit.
Yes, its always worth it in the end. I re-wrote a scene yesterday that, again, hadn’t been working for weeks before hand, and now it feels amazing to be able to figuratively stamp it: First Draft Done.
Lastly, don’t get to caught up on the whole Catalog Entry #451546217.23 .
Said catalog only exists in my imagination… and even in my imagination its highly unorganized, theoretical at best really. I mean its kind of like these scenes I’ve been talking about.