15k into Deadworld 3 as of this morning. I finally, finally finished the scene I mentioned before that I was procrastinating on for so long. Hardest scene I’ve ever written, without doubt. These kinds of scenes are good for writers. It helps stretch those writing muscles. Writing an mc that is not your gender is challenge enough to nail down well. Not surprisingly, I’ve had reviews that state I’ve succeeded in this task, while others believe it fails miserably. Such is the life of a writer. For me, it becomes more difficult that usual when the emotional content veers farther away from a “male” pov. Gender exists on a continuum I believe, with a lot of blending, but some female experiences exist out there toward the far end of things that are pretty much out of reach for the male experience to relate to. This scene I wrote goes there. I pondered this scene over and over in my head, literally for weeks. It has taken me nearly two weeks to actually write the fourteen pages encompassing this scene. I think the worst aspect about it however, is getting to the end and having no real clue if it’s good or not.
Writers of course deal with this all of the time. We constantly question the worth of our writing. Sometimes we know we’ve nailed it, but most of the time, I think it’s a very “meh” feeling. It could be better, could be worse, and I’ll come back and fix that later. I’ve no doubt I’ll be editing this scene later. I’ve taken too much time leading into it, which is going to slow down the pace of the larger story arc. I figured I would be through this scene around page 30. It ended on page 51. Emotionally, there’s a lot going on here, but in terms of physical action and moving the plot forward? Not so much. Not unexpected. I’ve learned that I tend to be too wordy in the first third to half of my stories. This is where most of my editing comes in after I finish the book. It takes me a while to get warmed up I guess, to get the story situated. I’m ok with that. It has worked thus far. But what to do when you get through a scene that has provided all sorts of problems?
You move on. I could go through it again, see how it might get better, be pared down, tightened, and so forth, but now is not the time. I believe it’s important that once you start, you need to keep moving forward until you get to the end. Momentum is a big deal in writing. Once it is there, don’t derail it with things like constant editing/revising. Now is not the time. Once in that story groove, you must keep moving, putting words on the page. For me, the higher the word count gets, the more momentum I have. I love those milestones in a book. The first 10k, page 100, 50k, page 200. Do not discount the simple effects of seeing the words grow on the page. These little things are important too. As are getting through the really hard things, like intensely emotional, sexual conflict.