Timing is everything

If I am late getting out the door in the morning by four minutes (4!), the ride into work is hell.  School buses pull over to drop off kids, cars zoom by weaving in their lane as folks brush their teeth on their way into the office, and Santa Rosa City buses own the right lane.  There’s no way they are gonna wait for a lowly cyclist before pulling out into traffic.

Don't. I. Wish.

But, if I leave just four minutes earlier (believe me, I’ve timed it), then life is good.  No one suddenly stops in the middle of the right lane to drop off their kids, the buses haven’t hit my section of road yet, and I get to work with plenty of time to change; my heart rate barely above 60 beats/minute.

Timing is everything.

As in life, so too with fiction writing.

I am floundering with my novel at the moment, because a few key plot points have not been timed all that well.  I can’t mentally get past it to continue the story.  At the risk of rewriting the first third of the story, I may have to go back and fix those key points before moving on.  So much for my outline.

Though my outline has gotten me into this predicament, I have to give credit where it is due.  I wouldn’t have gotten this far without it.

Here are some random articles on outlining from around these intertubes:

Outlining Your Novel in Thirty Minutes

Novel Outlining 101

From First Draft to Finish Novel

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3 thoughts on “Timing is everything

  1. Ok, Nila! I am going to call your bluff, because you are doing exactly what I do. Which is find some reason not to push forward with your book, this time your making an excuse for why something isn’t working. However, you are more apt to finish your book than I am, so I am going to say, pick up your favorite writing utensil and start preparing for the upcoming writing month.

    Remember, A first draft is made to be all screwed up. You can’t be perfect the first go around. You are going to have timing problems throughout. Maybe if you push forward and set that section aside then write as if you have figured out the problem, maybe the latter events will give you the ideas for fixing the timing for this segment.

    Those authors or people that say they have a first draft in 30 days are most likely going off a concept that their first draft is going to be complete crap. It is very rare that one writes successfully the first time around. Look at J. K. Rawlings, she had many redrafts. As well, most of the great authors never wrote their defining work of writing in a couple of drafts, It’s always been several.

    Ok! Done with the pep-talk! Now down to a couple of questions?

    When you do your first drafty, do you hand write or type? I hand write first, then type, and I usually go in chapter sequence. Basically meaning, I will hand write one chapter, then type it up before I move on to the next chapter. The reason I do this is that the handwriting puts my brain in a mind set that the written draft is going to be very, very, very, very crappy!!! I truely can’t stress enough how crappy it is. However, it is the best method to just write and let things flow. If I try to start on a computer I end up spending more time trying to correct what I write because I see the little red lines pop up. For instance, the word “truly” about 50 words back is incorrect with a letter “e” in the word. Which, I just nearly forgot what I wanted to say because of the dame little red line.

    After handwriting, I then type it up, of which I edit and add more scenes, dialogue, etc, but I try not to be picky because I know that once I finish, I will be coming back to do a major edit.

    This is just a recommendation to try and spur on! GOOD LUCK!

    T. Ansel Knemeyer

    1. Okay, now I have time…boy, no slack, huh?

      But, you know, you are right! I sat my butt down yesterday night and got right past that block and I feel much better now. I’ll be writing up some more tomorrow and through the weekend. It’s flowing again!!!

      Oh, and you are right about hand writing it out. Though I still edit as I go, it is not as bad as on the screen. Thanks for the spur!

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