Wednesday, March 7, 2007

In the Zone

No matter how many books I write - and I don't even know what that number is any more - the same thing happens. The process begins easily enough. I have an idea, I have clearly defined characters in my head. I know what the conflict is and how it's going to affect them. So I start writing. The beginning chapters flow like honey in the Florida sunshine. Easy, sweet and never ending.

Then I hit the wall. Okay, the set up has been...well...set up. We know them, we love them. They love each other, although they probably don't know it yet. We see the conflict looming over them like the monster that ate Cleveland. Intimidating to be sure. But we know they will overcome it. Somehow.

So now what? This middle of the book - I once heard an author refer to it as "the muddle" - drives me freakin' crazy! I sit before the computer, staring at the blank screen, the blinking cursor. One word might appear. Ten minutes later there might be another. Then a rash of sentences, quickly tapped out, just as quickly deleted. Nothing makes sense!

It's more difficult than giving birth. More painful than a root canal. More boring than scraping spaghetti sauce off a plate your lazy son left in the sink overnight and...wait! I've been distracted. But that's part of it too.

So day after day I work at this part of the book. Barely managing to produce my "Hemingway" every day. Then something magical happens. I'll finish up a day, put my MP3 player in my ears and head out for my afternoon walk, and all the way around the one mile circle, the whole rest of the book appears as vividly as if I were watching it on the big screen of a movie theater.

That happened to me yesterday. THE RUNAWAY HEIRESS has finally hit her homestretch. I'd write a lot more about it here, but I'm eager to get back to the manuscript. More later!

Have a wonderful day!

1 comment:

Amanda Young said...

I'm the complete opposite, Delia. The start of a book is the hardest for me. After I settle on the plot, and manage to knock out the first couple of chapters, things finally begin to roll smoothly. Choosing, however, is where the problem lies. I can't ever make up my mind what I want to work on first. *g*