Give Up the Hunt... but, Don't Give Up the Fight

Seems I should stop looking for Viola. According to Nora Roberts...

"There ain't no muse. If you sit around and wait to channel the muse, you can sit around and wait a long time. It's not effortless. If only. Well, if it was, then everyone would do it, and where would we be then? So I work really hard to make it as fluid as possible, as readable and entertaining as possible.

I'll vomit out the first draft: bare-bones, get-the-story-down. I don't edit and fiddle as I go, because I don't know what's going to happen next. Once I get the discovery draft down, then I'll go back to page one, chapter one, and then I start worrying about how it sounds, where I've made mistakes, where I've gone right, what else I have to add, where's the texture, where's the emotion. I start fixing. And then, after I've done that all the way through again, I'll go back one more time, and that's when I'm really going to worry about the language. And the rhythm, and making sure that I haven't made a mistake, that I've tied up all the loose ends reasonably."

The above quote is from a new interview with Ms. Robert's in relation to her newest release, Angel Falls. It was part of a special feature in a Borders Books newletter. First thing I saw when I checked my email this morning. You can read the entire interview here.

I haven't actually been waiting for my muse to help me through the woefully non-productive past three days. I've been writing through the block, even if only writing in circles. When I wasn't writing, I was still working through that block. I knew I'd eventually figure out what was tripping me up, and I did. I think. Today will tell. *g* At any rate, I found Ms. Robert's (whose writing I admire) process to be interesting and helpful to me at this time.

Another inspiring post regarding writer's block, self-doubt, and process can be found at Tess Gerritson's blog. Click here for a dose of encouragement. The post is called 'Second Book Syndrome'. But personally, I think the affliction is 'Any Book Syndrome'. It's all about recognizing and accepting your process... and not giving up the fight.

Come on fellow writers, show me your dukes.


Gabriele C. said…
Every writer works differently. I agree you can't wait for the muse, but I need to have an outline and polish every chapter ere I continue. I'll get blocked if I leave trash behind.

In writing. My flat is another story. Say hi to my dustrats. :)
Jordan Summers said…
Hang in there, sweetie. :D
Bethany said…
I swear to God every damn book is a different process for me. But then again, I guess I am a newbie. What am I on, book 3?
Charlene Teglia said…
You'll get it, Beth!
ElsieHogarth said…
Beth, you're very creative, you'll be fine. The Stalker "fan"atics are behind you all the way.

I love the Borders newsletters. I've been printing out the author letters because they give you an insight on the authors latest book, characters, plot etc. Plus it's great for discussions during Book Club meetings.
Beth Ciotta said…
I'm always interested in learning how another writer works, Gabriele. As for dustrats(bunnies and other assorted fuzz critters), that's something I think almost all writers have in common. LOL
Beth Ciotta said…
Waving to Jordan, Bethany and Charlene! Thanks for the support gals. I know you're all in the same boat at one time or another. :) Ye feel my pain.
Beth Ciotta said…
Hi, Elsie. I never thought about how those Borders newsletters could be useful to a book club. Just knew how much I enjoyed them on a personal level. They're great aren't they? Although sometimes I wish they focused on a lesser known author, the ones who really need that kind of major promo.
Stacie said…
Hey! Loved the Shakespeare In Love excerpt! That's definitely one of my favorite movies!

As for the book--stick with it. You'll get past the block!

Sorry I've been scarce for a few weeks--I had my tonsils removed and haven't been doing much of anything for a while. Good luck and hope you're enjoying the summer!

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