This has not exactly been the most productive week. I’ve been playing Dungeon Keeper, an old game that is highly addictive. It’s James’ fault. He gave me the link to a website offering a free promo download, not knowing what effect it would have on lil’ ‘ol ODC me.
Video games aren’t the only reason I’ve been unproductive. We took a mini-vacation with the kids last week, which was great, but it also derailed the writing.
…except that the writing had already been derailed. I’ve noticed a trend in my work…when I’m about 80%-90% done with a novel, I stall out. I might know the ending, but getting the last few bits that lead up to the ending is torture.
A couple of weeks ago (has it been that long? eep!) I wrote a skip-ahead scene that I knew would be the end of my WIP. Spoiler alert…I knew it involved killing off a character. (Not total spoiler. I foreshadow that all the way through the book.) I’ve written skip-ahead scenes before. In fact, I just finished one. I don’t put them into my main manuscript; I type them into my ‘notes’ file and then copy/paste them into the manuscript when I reach the right point.
But this wasn’t a typical skip-ahead. It was a skip-to-the-end. And in the past two weeks I haven’t gone back to fill in what happens in the meantime. I think it’s more than just my usual I’m almost done and I don’t want it to be over issue. Killing off this character was really hard for me. Part of me wanted to keep the character alive and living out the HEA, but that would leave nothing to happen to the other characters in the books that follow. His death is kind of an inciting incident in this concerto.
Jane has no trouble torturing her characters. She delights in it. For me, killing this character left me emotionally exhausted. I haven’t gone back to finish the last 10% of the book yet.
I need to do that soon.
The ROW80 Goals this week:
- Do something writing-related every day: Almost… coming back from vacation was hard, especially with mid-terms coming up in my dayjob.
- Do some actual writing every week: Yes…but not much. I did begin a short for an antho whose deadline is coming up soon. But I need to finish this novel, too.
- Engage with other writers every week: Yup! Critting for a friend, although guiltily I haven’t finished as quickly as I’d hoped. On the flip side, I avoided engaging a fellow writer on a child-rearing question about which we disagree. I just looked at the post, shook my head, and told myself “Nope. Not gonna comment.”
- Stay away from the NaNo story for at least a month: So far so good. This week my kids are on vacation. The goal states that I return to the NaNo stories (Jubilation of the Southern Cross and Hearthsong) when the kids go back to school.
- Get sleep: A huge challenge. I’m most productive, both in writing and in getting enough sleep, when I write late into the night (It’s 1:22 AM right now) and sleep until noonish while the kids are in school. My teenager, who has special needs, has a para-educator who takes her for community days when school is out. This is great, because she needs the structure. My kindergartener is quite self-sufficient when it comes to getting food (we bought special easy breakfasts for break week) and entertaining herself; still, I need to get up well before noon to be with her, even if we’re just hanging at home. Forcing myself to go to bed before I’m ready usually just backfires, ending with me either lying there awake, or waking up after a three-hour nap. I do have specific exercises and a routine I do to help me sleep, but if my body’s not ready, it’s just not ready.
What would your sleep schedule be like if the demands of life allowed you to sleep whenever you wanted as long as you wanted?
Does anyone else agonize over killing off a character, or it is just me?