Two posts have inspired me today: a long one from Susan Taylor Brown ("When you commit to writing a novel there is no guarantee that the story you first start to tell will be the same story when you finally type “the end” and close the book. ... You have to be willing to fight your way through the multiple garbage drafts and revision and spend a lot of time gazing at the screen or the blank pages of your notebook and asking yourself, okay, what happens next and how can I make it work?") and a short one from Beth Kephart ("I sit here, my eyes closed, teaching myself writing all over again.")
lesson for the day seems to be that every book throws curveballs.
Writing a book teaches me a lot, but it doesn't necessarily teach me how
to write the next book. It doesn't give me a shortcut. Every book I've
written has kicked my butt around the block. Try Not to Breathe
almost wrote itself sometimes; it was, comparatively speaking, the
easiest book I've ever written. But I say "comparatively" because of
those early chapters that I tossed out, the neighbor family that had to
disappear because they contributed nothing to the plot, the entire
ending that didn't even exist in the first draft because I hadn't yet
realized that I needed to close the circle, to knock down a few more of
the pins I had set up in the beginning.
Try Not to Breathe
came about because I was trying to write a verse novel. No other book
I've written has begun that way. They all insist on being written in
their own unique Speshul Snowflake ways. It's comforting to know that so
many other writers feel this way, that the order of a book begins in
chaos for so many of us. Here's to that glorious mess!