Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ROW80 Update - Crap Dance

What's a Crap Dance, you ask?

A crap dance is when you first say:

"Oh crap, this boring little bridge scene just got more interesting and I have to tear out all the seams and do it right."

And then you break into a dance because, you know, the boring little bridge scene just got interesting and added to the wonderfulness that is your story.

And on to the ROW80 Midweek Update:

Sunday Day 49 - 90 minutes. Got myself halfway to where the scene needed to be -- so it was just the "oh crap" part.

Monday Day 50 - 91 minutes. Crap Dance Day. Hard on the brain stuff, especially since I had a headache coming on (not sure if it was migraine or simple sinus + eye strain) AND I had to go picket for my job. But I am delighted that this chapter which should have been done in five minutes is blossoming under many hours of work.

Tuesday Day 51 - 0 minutes. I knew today would be a challenge, but I didn't realize how much of a challenge. The graphic design students had projects due, and the printers were revolting. (No seriously, they formed a drum circle, and you could hear little voices inside yelling: "Whose network? OUR network!" ) I was running around all day. And then we did our last round of holiday shopping (because Wednesday is the LONG day). I got home late and zoned out, and it was only few minutes ago that I felt ready to do anything. But when I looked at the clock, I saw it was after midnight. I could do a little work... or I could update this post, do a little reading and go to bed. (Guess which one I'm choosing?)

Tomorrow is my long long day. However, even if the printers are still camping out in the park complaining about capitalism, I think the students are pretty much done and ready to go home and occupy some turkey dinner. I might get a little work done tomorrow, and maybe even on Thursday, but the next target date for real work is Friday.

Given how long this has taken, I think I have to give up on my hopes of publishing this in December. Aiming for New Years Day. And that means the target date for finishing it is now December 1. "Six-Gun Santa" is just going to have to wait until next Christmas.

See you in the funny papers.


ModWitch said...

LOL! I'm still at the stage of the "crap sigh". This generally happens when I have had the nerve to plan 3-4 scenes in advance, and I start writing the first one, and it morphs.

I know those morphed scenes are usually the best ones. I know it. But the writer in me that is attempting to be deliberate usually needs to sigh once or twice before I go with where the scene is now headed.

If I start dancing, I will let you know :D.

The Daring Novelist said...

Sometimes they are the best scenes.... and sometimes they are just something cool that takes you completely off course.

I suppose it is one of the reasons Heinlein says not to revise. But I think that once you've mastered the art of finishing a story, and have learned a certain amount of discipline, so you aren't constantly following will o' the wisps into the woods, you can benefit from playing around and exploring.

The question I usually ask myself is whether it opens up an opportunity or gives me more flexibility to resolve an existing problem.

In this case, a secondary character was just insisting on being too darn flat for the part he played. He's a control freak, the kind of person you just can't win with. If he doesn't shut you down, he walks away. So I was dealing with him by mainly sending him off screen as quickly as possible.

But I figured I'd deal with that in a character pass later on. I was thinking about George and I wanted to show him coming back into his own after a bad patch... and I realized what if he just took control away from the guy? Or, oh my goodness, what if he and Rosie tag-team him?

Of course it will change the dynamic for Rosie down the line, and I have to be prepared for the need to change other scenes. Probably not in a substantive way, but in attitude and motivation. (Which then leads to more such Crap Dance moments....)

Sonia G Medeiros said...

Love the "crap dance." LOL Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

That's one of those times where you want to pull your hair out but at the same time laugh hysterically. Here's to hoping you make that December deadline. Good luck!

ModWitch said...

I had one of those in my last book. One of the two main characters started off very OCD+efficient+annoying. She's on a cool character arc now, but the first half of the first trilogy book, it nearly killed me to write a scene in her POV. I kept jumping to someone else's head in self defense :-P.

I don't know whether I don't get a lot of willow-wisps, or whether my plots are one long string of them, but mostly the crap-dance scenes end up staying. That maybe be one of those writer-growing-up things I haven't done yet!

The Daring Novelist said...

That's the problem with "habits advice" -- everybody is different. And I wouldn't say you're unusual either.