Some scenes burn like gasoline on fire coming out. It feels like you can’t type or write fast enough, or even think straight. We, as writers, all love scenes like that. It’s when we truly feel alive. WE ARE WRITERS!
Other scenes come out like pulling fingernails out with your teeth. We write, erase, write again, erase again. In between, we pace, stare out the window, play games on the computer, and sometimes cry. We doubt ourselves as writers. We wonder what we were ever thinking to assume we could write. That’s when some people give up.
Come on, we all know them. “I wrote the first couple chapters, but then nothing came.” “I got about half way through and lost the story.” “It just doesn’t interest me anymore.”
I know quite a few writers and ex-writers like that. They mistakenly assume that, since the flash of inspiration is gone, so is the story. Instead of gutting it out and writing what little bit they do know, they just wait for the burn to reappear. Sometimes they wait the rest of their lives.
And you know the kicker? I’ve found that my writing is much better when that wonderful feeling of inspiration isn’t around to distract me, when I actually have to work to get my story on the page and get it right, when I have to write a bare skeleton and layer things in as I discover them, like building muscles and organs and skin, until it’s a body. Those are the scenes that are best for me. Not only do they mean more, but I’m more willing to cut and change what isn’t right.
I just wrote two scenes. The first was unbearably difficult. It took me 3 days to write 4 pages. I turned right around, inspiration furnace on, and slammed out the second scene in 20 minutes. I don’t have to look at them to know which will be the more difficult to edit.
It’s all well and good for me to mourn when inspiration is hiding on the other side of the globe, but then it’s time to get down to the work of writing. And editing. Lots of editing.