Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Meeting: Haunted House

I walked through a haunted house with a few fifth graders yesterday.  And it reminded me of writing.  Or more specifically, it reminded me of what lives in my head as a writer.

When I'm away from writing for a while, and then I have that thought, that "maybe I should open up my novel's word document", well, something jumps out at me.  Something dressed in fluorescent paint, a ghoulish mask, and blood-red fingernails.  Something wielding an ax.  Something that chops up my desire to revise, and scares the hell out of me.  You know. The "what-if-I'm-not-good" monster.  And sometimes I listen to her, and stay away from my revision.  Which only makes her bigger and scarier the next time she jumps out at me.

For some reason, when I'm knee-deep in writing, I can keep the ghoul away.  But if I even take a weekend off, she rears her ugly head.

But, yesterday I got to the other side of the haunted house, and I got to the other side of that *B* in my head too.

And you know what I always find when I wrestle her down so I can get back into my revision?  Some parts of my novel are great, and some aren't.  But the story gets better, stronger, tighter, filled with more tension and depth of character as I revise.  Revision is nothing to be afraid about.

I think.

How's everyone doing this week?  My goal is to revise for at least an hour every day.  To continue revising until Nano, and then see if I can do both.  (What--am I insane?)

What goals do you have?  Do you NaNo?

Happy ghoul hunting to you all!  I hope you are wrestling your writing demons DOWN this week!!


  1. Well, I'm certainly not going to *say* you're insane for attempting to revise and NaNo at the same time... but I might be thinking it

    :) Haha, just kidding. (sorta)

    But I totally know what you mean about that *B* rearing her ugly head... she harasses me, too. Ugh. But you've got to shut that demon up!! And also, I'll have to take my own advice... haha.

  2. Oh, the demons! You heard all about mine in TPR last Friday! And I like your hour a day plan!

  3. Hi Heather,
    Just acknowledging that demon like you did gives you the advantage on the wrestling mat inside your head. Ooo--too many analogies in that sentence.

    An hour a day keeps the demons at bay, or something like that.

    I pretty much worked all weekend changing from a 3rd to 1st person POV on one of my Novels, so now I have a new lump of clay to mold.

  4. Heather. Holy crap, you totally spoke right to me with this post. Moments before reading it, I was thinking about how I could convince you to skype with me two times this week because I was thinking I needed your help developing a talent for my character. Then I thought you'd just think me a psycho and I totally had a looking at Medusa moment as fear made me freeze up and contemplate NaNo and why I even write.

    I got in bed, turned on the comp and read this post and now I know what I have to do. Just get to the other side. NaNo is a fun-house full of mirrored rooms which give us distorted images of ourselves and our abilities. If we can meander through the maze without getting too scathed, we will be so much stronger as a writer. I look forward to that other side.

    Also, my word ver. is DUCKS.

    Also, also, I am really scared of fun-houses, but adrenaline ALWAYS takes over.

  5. Battle those ghouls :) Great post, and very true!! I wrote about something kind of similar today, but I love the spin you gave on this!

  6. Nice!
    I'm so envious of all your revising and prep for NaNo! Good for you.

  7. Sounds like you have a great plan. Wish I could do NaNo too. Good luck.

  8. M--We'll learn to wrestle down our *B*es together. :)

    T--You weren't the only one talking about writing weaknesses--I threw my two cents in there too. And you are a big part of my hour-a-day plan.

    Paul-- I love this: "An hour a day keeps the demons at bay, or something like that." I think that will become my mantra. For some reason I become a deer-in-the-headlights if I try to set page or chapter goals when I revise. So I stick to the hour plan. Because I can definitely do that. Funny, since I love adding up the words at NaNo.

    Sounds like a fun task--3rd to 1st person-izing a novel. Hope that continues to go well!

    J--I'm so glad this struck a good nerve. I'd be happy to up the skypes if it helps. Everyone has times when they need more or less support. And Haunted Houses can be scary. But nothing is as scary as what we build in our heads!!

    Sara--I loved your post about not giving up. Great stuff. We all go through it, I guess!!

    Terry--I'm having fun, and I get all giddy when I think of NaNo. Love it. I hope your writing week is going smoothly!!

    Natalie--Thanks! I find NaNo super fun, but it's not for everyone. I hope your muse is kind this week!

  9. Great post. I know the ghoul you mean well. You're right, hanging in there with perspective is the only way to drive it off. As for me, I can't wait to get to where I can be revising. The end of the WIP is maybe 50 pages away. Can't wait to get there!

  10. Nope, you're not insane. Some people can pull off working on more than one project no problem. Glad you're back to writing and keeping those ghouls away. I just got fired up again, too. Going to finally finish this draft by the end of November no matter what!

  11. Great post! I so need to wrestle my demons to the ground. I killed Monday with writing. But yesterday sort of got away from me. My writing hours were spent watching TV and looking at query letters. But not today! Oh, no. Today I'm going to write for 2 hours. I do have an entire draft to write, after all. Well, okay, about 3/5, but still. If I go NaNo on it, I could have it done by the end of November. And that sounds really good right now.

  12. Slaying the revision beast... that's huge! Congrats!

  13. Jeff-I'm sending you "finish-the-book" good energy vibes!

    Lori--Sound awesome, and good luck!

    Elana--I so hope you go NaNo on it! And I love that visual. Good luck!

    Robert--I love the idea that she is slain rather than just down for the count... If only that were reality!!

  14. What a great post! You're so right, showing up to the wrestling match is most of the battle. Once you're in there revising, you'll always find things to improve.