Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stage 3 - Pain

Remember all that stuff I knew in stage 2? How I said I knew exactly what happens at the most important scenes in my project before I even start writing it? At some point I usually need to admit that I didn’t know everything I thought I knew. Something in the book doesn’t work, or isn’t working, or won’t work no matter how hard I might want to make it work.

This is Pain.

Pain has taken many forms.

Pain has caused me to delete pages of text, text I lost sleep over. Pain has removed characters, added characters, sent me back to stage 1, demanded an extra 10,000 words and even killed off a dog.

I don’t like Pain.

This 3rd stage doesn’t even know that stages are supposed to be linear. It doesn’t wait until I’ve finished writing out the draft of stage 2. It just shows up uninvited at some point, like someone at my front door with a clipboard and really long sales pitch. He calmly explains to me what I’m doing wrong. I call him Pain because I don’t like to admit when I’m wrong.

But Pain has also made me laugh at things I thought were good ideas. Pain turned a book into a series. Stage 3 is the point in each project when I force myself to look for ways to make improvements. Even when those improvements make a lot more work for me.

Everything I write can always be better. I pray for guidance when Pain hits. I pray that the final book will reflect my best ideas, not necessarily my first ideas. But it’s nice when there’s a lot of overlap.

So where am I in this process with my current project? The 4th Coffee and Donuts book has already given me plenty of insomnia and pain. I hope to be solidly in acceptance by the time I write about that next month.

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