Pivotal Moments In Writing

17 Jul

Sometimes it’s difficult reaching those pivotal moments in a manuscript. You know the ones. Where if  you screw up the reader will be throwing the book across the room, screaming about how they can’t believe a writer could write such crap after they’ve read over 200 pages, only to be let down?

Yeah, I’m at that moment.

So what’s a writer to do?

For each of us I think this process varies. Mine goes something like this: I let thoughts simmer, then write a little. Let the thoughts simmer some more, reread what I’ve written since pulling into hesitation station, and delete half of it.

Occasionally, I take some time to to enjoy that feeling of  wanting to pull my hair out mixed with the urge to bang my head against the wall.  After that, comes more thought and then–shock and awe–words. Real ones, and lots of them. All hopefully spectacular, flowing through my fingers as if I never pulled into the station at all.

Wah-lah! Done.

Sort of.

I say sort of, because there are critiques to apply, edits to complete: grammar, punctuation, simple–small rewrites (crossing fingers for that one), identifying areas in the manuscript that need strengthening of descriptions/characters, or sometimes reigning them in. Next comes the first read through, then betas, which hopefully come back clean. More read throughs, getting down a query letter and a synopsis. Until finally the big day, submissions!

Hmm, I guess I’ve a long way to go. I suppose there’s no reason to sit idle at the hesitation station.

What’s your process during pivotal moments in your writing? For readers, what books have the best moments and what are some that fell flat?


10 Responses to “Pivotal Moments In Writing”

  1. Myrna R July 17, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    I have so much in common with you, except you have more courage. As a writer too,I want to cheer you on as you reach the pivotal moments, and hope that soon one of those moments is about full publishing success.
    I’m here from the Tea Party at Lady Bloggers Society. Was so glad to find a blog devoted to the expoits of writing. I too, dream about publishing some day – but as of yet, have done nothing about it. I’ll be visiting you often to see what new pivotal moments you’re experiencin. 😉

  2. Heather July 17, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    Hi there! I just popped in from the Lady Blogger’s Tea Party… and I think I’ve found a kindred spirit! As a writer I am so fond of hitting that pivotal moment and getting a little happy with the delete button when I am not completely satisfied with what I’ve written. The hardest part comes in those moments when I actually reconsider what I have deleted and I attempt to recreate the moment again. In the end I simply figure everything happens for a reason and the delete button is was definitely created for such a reason! Best of luck with your writing and I will certainly be back to read more!

  3. R.M.Gilbert July 18, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    @ Myrna R:
    Thanks so much for stopping by. I love connecting without other writers. It does take some courage to seek publication, but if you remind yourself that it only takes one ‘yes’ that helps.

    I look forward to having you visit again, and I’ll do the same on your site.

  4. R.M.Gilbert July 18, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    @ Heather:

    Hello kindred spirit. *smiles* I appreciate you stopping by. The moment you delete something and then wish it back, that’s a rough moment. But yes, sometimes it’s meant to be.

    Thanks so much for the visit. I’ll drop by your site as well.

  5. Penny Dune July 19, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    The hesitation station has such nice benches. 😀

  6. Dawn July 19, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    My process is to just keep writing with the mantra ‘you can always fix it on the rewrite’ playing over and over again in my head.

  7. Alexandra July 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    My hesitation comes from reading other authors, and I feel like I just don’t have that kind of talent. I know, i know, bad self talk…but that always deflates me and takes away all my creativity.

  8. R.M.Gilbert July 20, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    @ Penny Dune:
    Yes, yes it does.

  9. R.M.Gilbert July 20, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    @ Dawn:
    I think this would be wonderful. Dawn. I usually fix the ‘bigger edits’ as I go. Especially if something needs bulking in a scene. Then I know I’m keeping with the emotion and energy of that particular area of the ms.

    @ Alexandra:

    Alexandra, I’ve heard of authors who REFUSE to read other books until they are done writing their own. While I don’t do this, I do try to steer away from ‘like books’ so I’m not overly influenced by them.

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and think you’re fabulous. I hope you find what you need to move forward and write. The world may just love reading the stories you have to tell.

  10. patti July 21, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    LOVED waving across the e-waves this a.m.!

    Hmmm. Pivotal process comes from listening to the Holy Spirit muse, Who counsels in the most amazing way! After two SOP novels, I began to outline using Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method (getting a hook, expanding to a short paragraph, then a short synopsis, then the long version.) Then agent Natasha rips things apart and reconfigures.

    It’s bitter and rough in the early stages but goes down easy as cafe au lait in the teenaged times.

    Would LOVE you to check out my blog when you have time. Perhaps we can be bloggites!!


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