Monday, August 30, 2010

Writing annoyances and lessons

I've been spending a lot of time writing lately. I created a Twitter account, and there's a great group of writers over there. Thanks largely to their encouragement, I've made it through some huge scenes in His Good Opinion.

Tonight I hit a road block. I wanted to finish More Than Memory so I could really focus all my attention on Jane Austen and Darcy. I spent the entire day working on an epilogue... which I just realized I don't need. I've wrapped up all the main points of the story, the characters are together and happy, there is no point to an epilogue. In fact, it would really be quite superfluous.

There's a phrase writers use: Kill your darlings. It's something we have to do during editing--go through and get rid of all the extra bits in the story, even if they happen to be those pieces we loved writing. What makes me so angry right now is that I didn't want to write the epilogue! I wish I could have at least gotten the enjoyment out of it.

My frustration level is high. I could easily say this day was a complete waste of time, but there is a hidden lesson to be learned. I doubted the worth of an epilogue before I started. I've been struggling for four months to find the right way to frame it that will both make sense and add to the story. I should have trusted my instincts. If I had trusted my instincts, I would not be sitting here at 11:13 with no writing to show for the day.

Next time I find myself wondering, "Why am I writing this again?" I will listen to that little voice.

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