Distractions

Dear Readers,

It’s been nearly two weeks since I left you, and honestly it feels like years. I’ve been distracted by that all encompassing thing known as Real Life.  Not that it has been a bad thing at all. On the contrary, a friend has given birth to her first baby and today is Mr. B’s birthday. Yes, I am off doing other things, and you, my dears, are reading a scheduled post. No, I am not ashamed. It’s called planning ahead. In a world of distractions, it is comforting to know that I can rely on scheduled postings to make sure I keep my commitments to myself, namely, updating my blog on a timely and regular basis.

As for other commitments to myself, namely my #2PagesADay goal, well, that has been a bit on again, off again. I have been writing. It’s not like I gave up on it completely. It’s just some days it’s a paragraph and yet on others it’s like ten pages (Yes, that is legit how many pages I wrote on at least one day). I would like for my bouts of writing to come in more structured doses, but I guess the odd working schedule doesn’t allow for that.

On the up side, I do have most of the Little Red Ridding Hood story complete. I think half the reason I’ve been avoiding writing is because I’ve been caught up in solving that problem I had with the climax of the story. While my hands haven’t been writing, I was trying to work the story out in the back of my mind. I then lost myself with my favorite ‘non-writing but needed to write’ activity: a character name list. I hit Behind the Name and all the other baby naming websites. I still haven’t even cracked out my usual book of names. I also spent some time adding to my LRRH Pinterest board. I may have spent a day looking for “Red Alert” in order to reread it. That poem has definitely influenced a lot of my thoughts about Little Red over the years. I first read it in The Evansville Review Volume XV, but I was determined to find a link to it online so you all would be able to read it too!

Ultimately, I saw all of these things for what they were, i.e. distractions, I knew I needed to put on my serious writer hat. Three days later, I sat down with a notebook and forced out a page. It was terrible. The writing was…jagged? It didn’t flow well or feel right for the story. I kept going back and crossing out the last line I had just written and attempting again. I wanted to scratch out the whole page because it felt wrong. I kept trying, kept working at it, and still nothing seemed to work. I hated writing the scene just to hit my page count knowing I would only cut it later in editing because it wouldn’t be worth saving.

So I just stopped trying to write the scene and did what I usually do when other people come to me with problems. I asked myself questions, and then I answered them in a written dialog with myself. Obviously, I just needed to consult an expert about my particular plot tangle. The more direct questions I asked myself, the more I seemed to be able to answer them even though in all the days prior I couldn’t fathom how to move the story forward. Motivations, actions, and setting became clear once I asked myself instead of trying to let the story lead me. Having my answers cleared my block, and the story flowed properly once more.

No, this draft isn’t complete yet. As for what I do already have done with the story, I am pretty proud of. I even wrote up the first draft of the final scene, and I still feel a little haunted by it which I will take as a good sign. I think my delivery needs a little work, but my concept image is very clear. For me, the end of this draft is in sight. Key words: This Draft. I intend to “rest” the story for a month, and then, by May, I should be ready to tackle it once more. I’m going to read it out loud and work out any conceptual issues, and then start looking for an editor.

In theory, if I do decide that it’s a long enough story to publish on its own, this story might be up for purchase by the end of July. That’s kind of a nice twist since July’s birthstone is the Ruby, a red stone. Yep. I’m aiming to keep this all within one overarching color theme as well as the thirteen odd other themes I’ve already identified in their own list. Yeah, it really does always come back to lists with me.

Writing Stats

Pages: 24/? (including a few from my notebook that have yet to be typed)

Words: 6,541 typed

Title: 1 working title

Main Character Name List: 17

Days Elapsed: 24

Pages per Day (on this story): 1

And please, if you would be so kind, like and share!

Love and Lightning,

M

P.S. I guess looking it over, I’ve maintained at least ABOVE 1 page a day average even if it hasn’t been a full TWO pages as I’ve written other things besides this story in that time like crazy dream story ideas and blogs posts. So maybe my two pages a day goal wasn’t as off as I feared. Whew!

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