Monday, July 23, 2007

File Fiddling and Tool Fondling

That title almost sounds kinky. But it is a fair representation of what I've been doing for most of the last two weeks since signing on to sweat for Sven. The metaphor was handed to me by my husband when he was trying to snap me out of the funk I slipped into over the weekend after I lost that loving feeling for the process. He was pointing out that I was spending too much time fiddling with my files, and references, and the applications I'm using for this project and dwelling too much on trivia. He likened it to a mechanic who spent all day fondling all the tools in his large multi-drawer toolbox, rearranging them, admiring them, cleaning and polishing them, but never using them to build or repair anything.

He said that I was obsessing needlessly over the whole timeline issue. But what if I write a scene in which character A is five years older than character B and then in a different scene character C is two years younger than character B and is remembering the days when the three of them were attending high school together? I whined. So what, he shrugged. Isn't that what rough drafts are for? You can't fix something that isn't made yet.

He suggested that I attend to at least one of the dozens of planned for scenes every day for a minimum of an hour. Its time to start bending wrenches, he said. That's mechanic's slang for applying the tool to its task.

4 tell me a story:

Jamie 7/24/2007 12:39 PM  

I agree with Ed, Sister. Don't worry about, you have a talent and passion for writing, but you let yourself get too caught up in the details that you forget to let the beautiful, creative side come out.

Susan Helene Gottfried 7/24/2007 1:35 PM  

Jamie and Ed are wise people.

My feeling is simple: the first draft is for figuring out where the story's headed. Once you get to the end, you can fix any and everything via revision.

Sparky Duck 7/24/2007 7:48 PM  

Yep, the hubby is a smart man, though tool fondling is way beyond thinking kinky. I go more with is kinky

Bri 7/25/2007 12:42 PM  

LOL - I giggled at the title. And I agree. I know when I start a story, I always want to know everything and try to find the perfect software - at least I wanted to know until I realized I was stalling.

This challenge has forced out the "planning" stage and since, I've discovered really amazing ideas in the story that were just waiting for me to find them. I hope you have similar luck!

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