Friday, May 7, 2010

The Bullet

I bit it.

The bullet I mean. I threw in the towel with my other WIP. I'm starting over. I know, I know it's usually the kiss of death when it comes to WIP's. Every article and book I've read on writing speaks true against it. I understand what I'm going to put myself through. I just can't justify spending anymore time on a story where my MC keeps saying "I don't know what's going on... but I'm going to find out." (and then she doesn't).


I was becoming defeated and yes, while I'm sure that happens with everyone, I was beginning to grow beyond frustrated. My new outline is firmly in place, along with word count goal. My characters are laid out. I just have to write the story. I have a great resolve in doing this and I've set my finishing goal for September.

This may be unprecedented, but I'm following my gut. It's going to get done. The characters are still talking to me. Albeit they aren't as nice as they once were because I haven't figured out their story yet.

I'm not even going to reference the rough draft. I'm going to view this as a completely different story. All of what I knew has fallen away anyway. So I'm starting over. I want to get this story done. Sticking with the original draft won't get me there. I can feel it. As for now I have no word count on my new MS and I wash my hands of the other one.

On a different note, (haven't figured out how these subjects go hand in hand, but I'm sure they do) I have not been sleeping well. I'm currently in my second week of not smoking and the withdraw symptoms are starting to take a toll on me. I'm irritable, and I can't concentrate on much. However I know these side effects are only temporary and my goal to quit will only get me further improved clarity for other aspects of my life. But the lack of sleep mixed with the lack of nicotine is a fine cocktail for a cranky Kara. Even with the patch. Which is wonderful btw, I highly recommend the patch to anyone who wants to quit smoking and doesn't have a heart murmur (I had a friend use the patch who had a murmur and the results weren't pretty. That's all I'm saying. I'm not a doctor of course).

The craving to have a cigarette is basically void. Which is fabulous because I'm not fighting the undying need to have just one more hit AND the bitchy symptoms. Yes, I'm craving coffee (which is so weird bc I don't drink coffee ever) and Tollehouse Softbatch chocolate chip cookies, but that's it despite the sudden burst of frustration over something which normally wouldn't frustrate me. All temporary things. And the irritation doesn't last long. As long as I let it out. :D (poor McElhinny household).

Between the lack of sleep and the nicotine withdraw I don't need another frustration. I actually have a decent bit plodded out in my outline so I'm pleased and the beginning is much better already. I promise, to myself that I will finish this novel. It may have a different name in the end. But I will finish it.

*spits the bullet out of her mouth*

Now, I can rest a little easier, and maybe get some sleep.


Sarah said...

aaaawwww Kara *hands over mug of joe and bag of cookies*

I've never smoked so I have no idea how hard that is, but as to the sleep issues, I can definitely relate. I had a spat of about 2 years where I was sleeping 6-4 hours (if that) a night. I found something that helped me a great deal. Instead of lying looking at the ceiling, I went into the kitchen, turned on a dim light, and painted. Some nights it only took ten minutes some nights an hour, but when I started getting sleepy I could fall right and fast asleep. You might try something like that. Draw, crochet, needlework, something to get your mind OFF sleep for a bit.

As for the manuscript, well keep it around, for nothing more than the lessons that you learned on it. I hope the outline works well for you, I can't seem to stick with mine. I go out of bounds too much lol.

Any way, good luck girlie, we are all rooting for you!


K.Hinny said...

Sarah, thanks :D

The outline is just so the Characters are not running rampant throughout my head. I'm not going to allow them to go where they want to go but I needed a frame because working without one isn't working for me :D

As for the smoking...I actually quit for two years and then succumbed last June back to the stacks. Now, I'm quitting before I hit a year.

The painting thing sounds like a great idea. I'll have to give it a try. I'm usually good with 5-6 hours of sleep but none of what I have been experiencing within the last couple of weeks can be mistaken for sleep. :D

Oh, and I'm not going to throw the other WIP away. I keep everything I write bc I hoard things. :P

Thanks for reading!

Alan W. Davidson said...

I wonder if the quitting smoking is making the writing more frustrating. Yay for biting the bullet...and fresh beginnings!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes sticking with something that isn't working is more detrimental than letting it go.

I think a lot of seasoned writers say don't give up on your WIP is because it can get boring and a new idea looks shiny and exciting but will only end up the same way. I know I had this problem for awhile.

Good luck on your new WIP.

K.Hinny said...

Thanks Alan, and yes. You're probably right. New beginning's here I come!

Rosemerrie - thanks for commenting and posting. Your comments make me feel a little better and that I'm not doing something naughty. :D {Hugs}

Lee Thompson said...

Hey, Kara. I remember going through withdrawls. I was driving truck cross-country and saw a 60's strat I wanted in a Guitar Center and had to drop the cigarettes to save for it. And I did, even though it was tough. Reward yourself with some of the money you would have spent on a few cartons.

Sorry to hear about the WIP, but like someone else said, if it's not working, it's not working. Sometimes we have to spin our wheels though and let the characters run wild for a bit so they can point us at the real story. Weird, I know. But it's happened to me a lot of times.

I'm in your corner, woman. Anytime you need help, let me know. :-)

K.Hinny said...

Hey Lee! Thanks for the offer!

I've quit smoking once before and like a dumbass I started again. But I've also started to run again which is something I always forget I love when I don't do it. It's pretty much payment enough to be able to get out of the house and just go without the worry about my lungs bursting :D

So far the WIP is coming along well. *crosses fingers*

Paula Ray said...

Glad you are quitting, but sorry you are suffering through the withdrawals. You've been writing pretty hard and steady lately. It is okay to take a break from time to time to recharge your batteries, especially when illness in the family is demanding your attention. You'll get through this down swing.

Bea Sempere said...

Good Luck with the new WIP and YAY! to quitting smoking. April 6 was 2 years for me. I experienced all those side effects, but the insomnia went away after a little over 2 weeks.

Give yourself a break, Hinny, and let it ride. Try not to get frustrated with writing. Quitting smoking trumps many things, and writing is one of them. You can write, but don't get mad if you don't produce anything worth saving.

I'm going to cheer you on with the smoking and the writing. Here's a dorky poem I wrote on my 1 year quit:

Maybe you'll wind up writing one yourself, but until then, I'll share mine with you.

*does Snoopy dance*

K.Hinny said...

Paula - Thanks I'm still writing, I don't think I could go without :D I've put away a couple k on the new WIP already. I got my coffee and ate all of the softbatch cookies, I've moved onto oreos. Thanks for caring.

Bea - The poem is cute, thanks for sharing. Congrats again on the quitting!

Aaron Polson said...

All those books and sites with advice about writing aren't "perfect fits" for anyone. You have to do what is right for you.

Quitting smoking=good.

Quitting this happen.

K.Hinny said...

Aaron, yes! Quitting the WIP will not happen. I won't let it. :D

And you're right about the advice and how it's not for everyone. I am learning to trust my instincts as well as advice from seasoned writers. I think the mixture will result in goodness.

Cate Gardner said...

Sometimes you have to be brutal. I've ditched novels that weren't working - no sense wasting your time.

K.Hinny said...

exactly my thinking Cate. Thanks for commenting and reading.

Benjamin Solah said...

"*spits the bullet out of her mouth* "

Love this!

I know people say not to start over, but I do it all the time and come to love it.

Sure some things die out because of it, but maybe they're meant to if they can stand a test like that.

K.Hinny said...

Thanks Ben. I'm liking the direction it's going so far! (though I'm only into ch. 3 :P)