January 24, 2014

Tunnel vision - or the lack thereof

Writing can be difficult to say the least. That blank page thing is not an exaggeration. Blank pages are pretty damned scary. And my male tunnel vision approach is not working out as planned.

Yesterday I woke up determined to get a two page synopsis of my new book written. To the uninitiated I know this sounds like a piece of custard tart - Mary met John, they fell in love, they discovered a body, the dog ate the evidence, the killer attacked the dog, Mary saved John from a burning building and they caught the maniac. All lived happily ever after, except the maniac who disapproved of the prison's Friday lunch menu.

But I find trying to reduce 65,000 words to a measly 800 or so while keeping some semblance of an orderly plot, and making it interesting and reflective of my writing style is really, really hard. But I was determined not to give in to all of the distractions around me and get it done! (Oh my goodness, my nails really need a manicure.)

I had already done the grunt work. I had reread my notes, scanned the book, and made an outline to follow. I was reviewing said notes and deciphering my chicken scratch (my handwriting leaves something to be desired, such as legibility) when the phone rang. I needed to answer it because we were expecting - no, expecting is too strong a word - we were hoping for a call from the insurance company about our ward's health insurance. So I answered it. Shouldn't have. It was as you might have guessed a salesperson on a mission. (Just a minute, I need another cup of tea.)

Back to the writing board, tea in hand. I had just figured out what "D&R wanr behind" written in the margin meant when I remembered that I had not yet done my aerobic arm exercise - my New Year's resolution. Four minutes dancing with weights to 'I Will Survive" and I was back to business.

Four hours, five cups of tea, three more phone calls, a snack, another snack, a minute dusting the computer, a call to my daughter, and a quick load of laundry later and it was done. 64,879 words encapsulated in a brief 639 word prĂ©cis. It wasn't bad. A little humor, strong plot line, characters clearly identified. This was okay. Culprit caught and put in jail. But it seemed like something was missing. I read it again - slowly. OMG, I forgot the murder! Tunnel vision where art thou?

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