Ah, the writer. What a life. Sitting in her little office, dreaming up fanciful stories, tapping them out on her word processor, churning out one nugget of genius after another
such a romantic, idyllic occupation.

NOT.

Know what I’m doing now? I’m going through my novel, scene by scene up to this point (which, by the way, is page 350 thanks to a productive weekend!), analyzing each scene for goal, motivation and conflict, and making sure each one has a hook to carry the reader on to the next one. The only way I can really do this right is to focus myself by filling out a little worksheet I’ve invented, where I write out each element, highlighting weak scenes so I can go back and work on them later.

Sheer drudgery.

Writing is an art, and the creative part of it is fun and rewarding. But it’s also a craft, where you learn and apply techniques to improve the end product. The craft part is rewarding, too, because it almost always gives you a better end product, along with an aha! moment when you find a way to improve a scene.

Of course, there’s also the thud of disappointment when you realize the prose that flowed so effortlessly the day before has a fatal flaw and has to be cut (see last post).

The other problem, of course, is that I have a day job, and it’s now 11:00 p.m. and I really want to get this drudgery over with tonight.

17 scenes down, 40 to go. You paranormal writers might want to stop by the bookstore tomorrow to get a glimpse of a genuine zombie at work.