Stalled

Well, I suppose this was inevitable, or at least I comfort myself by believing that it was.  Over the past weekend, I did not get any writing done.  Yes, the great Project ground to a halt in July.  While it’s true that I was sick, and the weather was oppressively hot, the bottom line is I still didn’t accomplish anything.  This is bad.

I spent today getting all the disparate pieces of out-of-order text slotted in where they will eventually need to go, and I guess the good news is I can now see where there is more work, and in some cases a lot of work, that still needs to be done.  I do still have a pretty long piece of work that has a general shape to it and I don’t hate it entirely at this point.  Now to recommit to at least 1,000 words a day and knock out the last quarter of it (or whatever the exact proportion turns out to be).

Now currently I have massive gaps in the story so whether it is finished or not isn’t in question, but I did think it was interesting to start thinking about how you know when a story is finished.  The best description or advice that I have read so far (and, as usual, I can’t remember where it’s from) is that you know it’s done when you can read it through and would not add or subtract a single word.  The thing is I’m not sure I ever do that when I read through my own writing.  Even on the final draft of my thesis when I was meant to just be fixing footnotes and so on, I kept changing little parts of the phrasing.

I think there has to be some kind of point at which you walk away – usually I have used an impending deadline to identify that point – but I’m not sure I will know it when I see it.  Perhaps I will need to put my trust in the Eager Volunteers.

Anyway, I hope I will now be un-stalled and get back on pace.  I really can get this thing done if I don’t talk myself out of it.

Word Count: 75,160

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9 thoughts on “Stalled

  1. Jay santerre says:

    “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” – Leonard Cohen

    • emaymustgo says:

      If you’re saying I should leave this project by the side of the road, I don’t entirely disagree some days.

      • Jay santerre says:

        No. No! It’s just that once you feel you’re nearing the end of a project, whether it be a poem, novel, essay, blog post, there comes a point where you just have to throw up your hands and walk away, let it go.

  2. elvishefer says:

    It’s not a big deal, I guess. I’m still sending someone to your house for your pinky finger.

  3. Do you know what the last page looks like? I think writing a story is like building an arch – if you know the shape of the stone that you’re building towards it’s a great deal easier. BTW you were much missed at Leeds.

    • emaymustgo says:

      I do in fact have the last page written. I wanted to do it while I was still excited about the scene. The stuff that still needs to be written is various pieces that gets me there.

      Sorry to have missed Leeds and all the wonderful people who were there. ‘Stalled’ is a pretty good description for my academic writing these days too, however.

  4. JP says:

    Speaking of eager volunteers… any idea when the next chunk will be ready for consumption?

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