Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Confessions of a Publishing Noob: Cheating

I'm cheating on my WIP. With a trunk novel.

Let me back up a bit. I managed to power through the 30,000 word freak out, the results of which exemplify what Anne Lamott calls "The Shitty First Draft." I like what I've managed to come up with, though. The book has good bones at least, and I think I can eventually make it readable with a lot of rewrites. And more research. Things are fairly slow going now. In fact, I've gotten half of the words I usually write in a month on a single project. I keep having to stop for facts. I occasionally wonder if I'd have done better with some extra research time beforehand. But I didn't know I'd need to know most of the things I've been looking up before I started writing.

I blame the cheating on this extra research.

Okay, I know I have some personal responsibility as well, but so many of the tidbits I dug into led me to information on Arkansas. Or mentioned Arkansas somewhere. This is where Gravedigger (that contemporary fantasy I so recently decided to trunk) is set. It happened so often, I decided that the universe was trying to tell me something, and dug out the stupid manuscript again. The thing just won't let me go. So my protagonists and I came to an agreement: I'd spend most of my time with Boss Lady. But Friday belongs to Gravedigger.

So what about you guys? Have you ever had an unhealthy obsession with a manuscript? Has your research ever led your work?


Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Mel, I certainly get carried away with research sometimes. It's like a kid in a candy store... you just see more research you want to explore. And sometimes I get waylaid. It's definitely a balancing act ~ what research to follow and include, what to let go and proceed.

Evonne Wareham said...

I have one of Those Manuscripts. It hasn't actually got out of the drawer recently, but it still whispers when I go past. Research -I wrote a big historical a couple of years ago, set in World War Two - had great fun with the research and it realy led the story. Hard to know in the end what came from where.