I’ve been frustrated with my work on the Apartment Complex story for the last few weeks. Not the prose itself; that’s actually been pretty good. What I am producing is stuff I can work with and revise. I’m talking about the overall production. It’s too scattershot. There are too many gaping holes where I hung a cardboard sign saying ‘put something here later’. I think I’ve proven to myself that I’m not good at writing out of order; I’m definitely more of a linear writer.
In short, I don’t think my longhand idea is quite panning out the way I wanted. It feels like I’m wasting time.
I didn’t plan it out as well as I thought I did, and I’m paying the price for it. I don’t necessarily think I need to revisit the outline; more that I need to be more immersed in the story. It’s the writing style I’m used to and the style I’m good at. By writing in a linear fashion and immersing myself into the story and the characters, I begin to understand what is needed and what I should avoid. I’m also able to pay attention to minor details that I could use further down the line.
That’s not to say that I’ll never work this way again…I actually enjoy writing longhand. It’s more relaxing, for starters. I’m not focusing on a screen for hours at a time, for another. Not to mention I get to write anytime and anywhere. I just have to remember next time to start it when it needs starting, and not sooner.
That said… I’ve called it this past Wednesday. I’m starting the Apartment Complex story over and trying again, this time straight to PC, as linearly as possible. I haven’t gotten too far in the story, so I should probably be back up to speed by the end of the month if I keep up the same speed and dedication.
‘Calling it’ has to be one of the hardest things a writer has to do sometimes. It’s definitely not a decision that comes lightly. The biggest weight is the bitter truth that we’ve just wasted all that time on something that isn’t working for us. Well, maybe not wasted per se, but it certainly feels that way. There’s also the frustration of having to decide whether to continue or restart the project in what feels like the correct way, or to put it aside and start something else. It causes us to take a good hard look at our project and make the decision whether it’s truly worth following through or trunking.
I’m already dedicated to the Apartment Complex story; I’ve been looking forward to writing it since I was in the middle of writing Lidwells. [I’m feeling the same exact way about In My Blue World, to be honest, and that one’s further down the road.] I’ve decided I can salvage what I’ve done over the last month, and I can turn this around.
But it’s still one hell of a hard decision.