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Writing Journal: Hump Day

Happy hump day!

I’m working hard this week. The final third of my murder mystery is too smooshy, so I’m carefully unwinding plot threads, laying them out, and rewinding them in a clearer fashion. This requires all my focus. Yesterday, during our mid-day walk, P & I were careful not to chat about anything too involved, because I had all this story held carefully in my memory like a half-woven tapestry. Until I finish unsnarling this bit, I can’t let myself get caught up in anything else.

Paul is a police officer, and therefore this mystery is a bit of a procedural. Procedurals are process stories, and I think there’s a knack to showing the interesting parts of the process while summarizing or skimming past the rest. So much of my editing this time consists of shrinking down and spicing up the boring bits and digging into the more interesting sections, where the good stuff is at.

I love this part and I hate this part. Here in the thick of things, I feel like I’m paddling around in a pool with no bottom and no sides. Meeting my deadline feels impossible, and my brain wants to scream OH THIS ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH YET, IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH YET! OH WHAT SHYTE THIS IS!

It helps to think of editing like I think about cleaning the condo. First, pick up the big pieces and put them away. Next, remove the dirt. And yes, sometimes you need to empty out the whole chest of drawers, fold everything, and put it back! Why angst while you clean? It’s better to put on some music, to relax, and to enjoy the transformation from messy to clean. I’m creating an environment in which a reader can kick back and enjoy themselves. And that’s the job.

Speaking of which…

Into the book I go!