I possess this extremely unfortunate personality trait. I make things harder than they need to be. My husband finds this trait an infinite source of amusement.
I do not.
I like to think of myself as intelligent—don’t we all?—and when I do these things, I feel like a real knob.
What he might not grasp completely is that sometimes it isn’t me taking the hard route… sometimes it’s nothing more than me living in this world with half my brain in another. To be completely honest, about ninety percent of the time, it’s more than half off somewhere else.
Sometimes I have to expend so much energy making sure I’m paying complete attention to something, I end up exhausted. Driving is one of those things. I’ve never had an accident or received a ticket… but I’ve driven past more destinations than I care to admit.
Heh. Bet you’re the one who’s scared now.
I don’t keep up with friends the way I’d like to, so I almost always have one upset with me. I’ve forgotten tooth fairy duties (which makes you feel so bad, it hurts) and I once walked all the way across a mall parking lot… the wrong way. The worst part was my family just stood at the doors and watched. When I asked them why they didn’t stop me, they said they wanted to see how far I’d go.
The bad news is I carry ‘doing things the hard way’ into my writing. Instead of always letting myself write that bad first draft, like I’ve advised here repeatedly, I sometimes fall back into old habits and let that internal/infernal editor control my first draft.
That’s bad. Bad. Bad Rinda.
I spent quite a bit of time doing this last week. Yesterday, I sent her to the corner, ignored her and scored around 3000 words.
But I take that hard way thing even further sometimes. I call those times my pathetic wishy-washy ones.
For instance, in my current WIP, I started it out in 1st person, wrote over a hundred pages then changed my mind. Many things went into that decision, but it boiled down to one real thing. I honestly thought my smart mouthed 1st person style didn’t fit the dark, urban fantasy setting. I was already contemplating this problem when a couple of anonymous critiquers said I was good at both but they didn’t think a book could be dark and funny at the same time—that I should just pick one.
So, I started over. I added more than one POV and really changed the story—but it was a lot of work to change it to 3rd person. Everything changed. I ended up setting aside the book because I’d pulled it into so many different directions, it grew confusing.
But the book bothered me. No, that’s not right. The story and characters did. I still felt it was one of my better ideas and just ditching it because I’d made it hard… well, that would be beyond pathetic.
So, I started again, joined a new critique group and I’m writing along when I realized I was really struggling in 3rd person. But I’m stubborn. Even when Rachel pointed out, uh, several times, that the story would be so much more cool in 1st, I kept trying. The last time she pointed it out, I cracked up. I knew she was right and I’d known it from the beginning.
This time, instead of starting over, I just began to write in 1st person around chapter five. Yeah, in the back of my mind the many changes the first four chapters will take on is a bit intimidating, but in 1st person, with this particular story, it really flies. I sailed through chapter after chapter and damn, it felt good. Some characters are meant to be in 1st person–it’s just the way it is.
So, the first half of this book has been written three times. Nah, I don’t do things the easy way, do I?