I hate it when I’m writing a scene and it doesn’t feel right. It just bothers me, it feels like I’m writing a bad scene badly and am unsure of how to fix it. Usually, I just quit writing and go do something else. I didn’t today, partially because of the Debacle, mostly because I haven’t written in days and days and I want to write, damn it.
But the further I get, the worse the scene seems, and then I start thinking “Just slop it through and get on to the next scene,” but I have nothing for the next scene except the need to convey some basic information, and —
Mostly, I think it’s because I’m sick. My brain isn’t running properly enough to pick up the pieces and turn them into a really good scene. This is what usually happens. So I wind up sulking around the house staring at a crappy scene that isn’t getting any better, and I wind up being a grim, grouchy writer.
Who also goes *SNORRRRKKKK* every ten seconds because his nose won’t stop running no matter what.
So I consider switching over and writing the beginning of The Nondescript, but I have a feeling that’ll come out poorly too. It’s not necessarily the scene, or the writing, it’s just my head not functioning properly.
I’ll be over here, on the couch, with tissues and American Gods which seems like a good book to read when I’m sick.
And my Sunny D.
Proof that I’m sick is that I sent this post off without talking about the point I was trying to make.
When you have a scene that isn’t working and is crap, don’t just delete it. Even if you do get rid of it, be sure to stop and consider your own status first. If I’m writing a perfectly good scene, but it seems like garbage because I’m sick, then it does nothing but harm my work if I delete it now.
When I was still writing internet serials — way before God in the Machine — I had a storyline in the end of the first season of a series. I wrote four episodes of it and it was a terrific story, but it went to places I didn’t want to go to yet, and some of the scenes started to fall apart, and I knew I was writing crap…but for the first time, I didn’t delete them. I just put them away in a folder and went back four episodes and started writing in a new direction.
(A thought: That shows I used to write faster, at least. Four episodes would be around sixty thousand words.)
Later, I came back and enjoyed both the storyline I wound up writing…but also, the storyline I had left behind after four episodes. I wish I’d had a use for it, I think it was a pretty good story and it gave me a chance to do things with characters I would have enjoyed later.
So: The moral I’m muddying my way to here is, don’t delete. Check yourself, doubt your ability to judge your own writing, and put it in a folder and let it sit for awhile. If you come back way later and it still sucks, kill it.
Okay, now off to the couch.