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Posts Tagged ‘sloppy’

Friends,

When I draft a novel, I DRAFT a novel. Free-writing is my mantra. I don’t let sensible thoughts weigh me down. Why bother? They are chains on my creativity. This process works, it really works, for me. Writing tip: if you are trying to edit while you are writing, you are a hundred times less likely to enjoy the process or finish the story.

And then the muses sweep me in a different direction… (Thanks, muses. I love you anyway.)

A couple of weeks ago I wrote two scenes that were to take place in the medieval fortress of Saphree. Saphree is of great significance to one of my characters so there were lots of specially crafted phrases describing its architecture and its emotional impact. All of this was powerful writing, until the muses decided my characters should be at some legendary waterfalls in the middle of the open woods instead.

Usually, relocating is not too much work. A wall is a wall so change bricks to wood or wood to stone and,¬†poof!, you’re done. But relocating from indoors to outdoors is a major project. And relocating from one significant place to a place that is significant for entirely different reasons… Oy vey (which, by the way, is a “Yiddish exclamation of chagrin, dismay, exasperation or pain”). My brain hurts just thinking about it.

And yet… I admit. I find these kind of time-consuming changes fun. It offers a challenge that my typically sloppy free-writing does not. So here’s to finding a little fun in the journey and the work and the muses. May your challenges melt to joy today and the stories you craft–in pen or deed–receive a breath of fresh air,

Jessie Mae

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If you were ever a college student, you’ve probably had the nightmare. You know. The one where you forget about class, arrive late, walk in on a test, and realize you know none of the material. If you’re like me, you wake up from that recurring dream with sweat beading down your forehead. Maybe grades are not your tense point. Still, I’m willing to bet you have had a similar dream.

The nightmare is no longer about college. Not for me. It has moved on to writing. I guess that’s a sign I have been doing my job a long time. Or that I am heavily invested in it with my time and my emotions. Probably both.

I dreamed last night, with great amounts of panic, that I had left several empty paragraphs in a published book. There were even author’s notes to correct the emptiness, making it a glaring flaw. This might not sound so terrifying to you non-writers out there, but I wince as I read grammar mistakes in previous editions. Let alone EMPTY PARAGRAPHS!

Can you tell someone is nervous about The Lure of Lemons?

Nightmares aside, the book is actually coming along. I’m still far behind my deadlines, but solid progress is finding its way to my mind and into the novel’s pages. Maybe my dream-panic is premature. I’ll never be quite that sloppy. Yet mistakes will happen. That terrifies the perfectionist in me.

Art is not about perfection. I refuse to allow my fear of grammar mistakes, spelling errors, plot-line issues, deadline misses, and total failure (I could go on) to stop my writing. To stop my passion. To stop the good work that is done with these books. No. Nightmare, go back to the depths from which you came. I will press on.

 

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