The End Is Nigh

Hmm, you see that word counter on the right? Some of you might also notice that the amount I’ve written doesn’t seem to have changed very much and that the total I’m aiming for has gone down a bit too. Now let me say straightaway that any comments such as ‘What’s changed’ or ‘What have you been doing all this time?’ will go straight into that little bin symbol! There has been much wrestling behind the scenes and plenty of gnashing of teeth.

Rewriting ‘Fighting the Tide’ has proved to be another steep learning curve; you don’t have the intense thrill of the first draft to entice you on and you have all of the self-doubt and inner critic to hold you back. The only way forward, as I’ve belatedly discovered, is to write through it. Yep, you apply your bum to the seat, you open your laptop and you write. You write even when the inner critic is telling you, ‘That’s pants, that is!’ because, hey, some of what you’ve written might not be pants – how do you know until you’ve written it?

I caught the end of an item on ‘Today’ this morning when someone, (sorry, dear heart, I didn’t catch your name) was talking about the hundreds of hours he spent trying to fish for salmon (look, don’t shout at me if you don’t like it, I’m just giving you an example, right?). He said that all the fruitless hours are worth it for the moment when the fish twitches the line. It stuck me that there were parallels with writing; the long unproductive hours and many deleted words are forgotten in the rare and joyful moments when something rather wonderful rises to the surface.

For my final push I’ve joined The Finishers, set up by Lane of the Novel Racers. If you haven’t read Lane’s Write then do pop over and have a look; she’s very entertaining and her dogs are sooo cute (but don’t mention the cat at the moment). What more can I say?


Crystal Jigsaw said…
Light at the end of a tunnel? Good luck, Chris.

Crystal xx
Lane said…
Wot no painting?

You're absolutely right with the applying bum to seat and writing through it but 'the intense thrill of the first draft'? Oh I wish. At the moment I am dragging the first draft out kicking and screaming and it's causing me pain. I know what I want to say but getting it out in a fathomable order is soo hard. I'm looking forward to the edit so I can re-arrange it all and experience a new type of angst. I'm bored with this one:-)
And you my dear are almost finished. How great is that!

btw the dogs are basking in being called cute. They are so vain:-)
Like banging your head against a brick wall so wonderful when you stop?!!!Almost there brave heart not much further then we can all boast about how we knew you when you were an unknown!!!
LittleBrownDog said…
Hi Chris - good to see you popping up over the parapet with an update! That's so reassuring (and I suspect, so true) about writing and the salmon. I'm spending an awful lot of time on the river bank at the moment, threading and re-threading my line, fiddling about with my box of bait, wondering whether I've got the right rod... It's hard work, this writing business, but as you say, I'm sure it will be so worth it...

Good wishes and Godspeed with the book.

Elizabethd said…
Golly Chris, you will be receiving so many requests for your autograph soon! Good luck.
elizabethm said…
Lovely to find your blogette up here! I'm glad to hear you are nearly there. Sounds like it has been a hard slog over the last few weeks but heh! you stuck with it. Hope all is well with all other areas of your life too. Great to hear from you.
Zinnia Cyclamen said…
You're doing really well, keep at it, you're nearly there!
Frances said…
Hello Chris,
Yes that lovely duo of self doubt and criticism are a powerful bunch.

Horrible if we let them be too powerful, yet in moderation, they probably do help the yeast to rise the bread. (Now that was truly clumsy, if well intentioned.)

What I mean is ... writing without any restraint is not always gonna produce many worthy words.

Painting with abandon can be great fun and give wondrous release, but come back to that canvas in a day, and it might be wise to approach it in a darkened room.

We have to create freely, and then know how to come back and take a second, or third peek at our creation.

And just keep going.

Pondside said…
Hi Chris - just caught your coming-up-for-air blogette. It sounds as though you are in the home stretch and we'll all be ordering our copies soon!
JJ said…
Wow, you've been doing well since I was last here. Congratulations.

Fennie said…
I caught the salmon piece on Today as well. It struck a chord as I used to be taken fishing by my grandfather who was a keen salmon fisherman. But I agree that the most successful fishermen are those who fish longest and perhaps it's the same with writing. Good luck.
Debs said…
Keep going. I know the feeling as I'm struggling with one WIP at the moment and will be glad when the first draft is down on paper/laptop/whatever. I'm also a member of the RNA NWS. Best of luck.
Just keep at it Chris, Fighting The Tide is sure to be a winner, and I will be rushing out to buy a copy. Lots of luck is on it's way to you Chris.

Pipany said…
Well done Chris. I have no idea how you redraft something you have already put your heart and sou;l into. Do you start changing the voice? Do you feel as though you are now trying to aim it at an editor? I think it is a massive task and well done for not getting drunk, staying drunk and throwing in the towel in the process xxx
Suffolkmum said…
Loved Pipany's comment! I'm also in awe of you for gritting your teeth and staying with it. Well done!
Great to hear of someone at the final hurdle. It's hard just getting started but at least blogging gives us the feedback that we sometimes desperately need to carry on. Writing in a vortex is so constricting and I find that when I re read and re write stuff the words loose all persepective for me and all meaning. They just sound like rubbish at times.

Keep at at, you will spurn the rest of us no hopers on - well me really I'm sure the others are yes hopers!

I love Lane's write too - she is a great writer and always ery generous with her feedback.
annakarenin said…
Veryan looks beautiful. Would love to have a boat especially after reading that post but Mike only has to look at one to be sick.

I find it hard to re-read books because the excitement of something new isn't there can't imagine having to do a re-write, glad to hear that you are cracking on though.
Flowerpot said…
good luck Chris. I know it's a long slog but you're nearly there!

Popular Posts