Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Early Warning System

I’m almost done with the current revision of my heart novel. I edited, revised, and reread two chapters yesterday. That leaves the climax chapter, which is really long and needs to be split in two, and the denoument (resolution) chapter. I started working on the climax yesterday, noticing that the main character had an emotional swing that while justified isn’t accounted for in the text. So I started to add details to the text to account for the character’s emotional transition.
It went well, until I realized it was drivel. After editing for a while, I reached the creative-insight endpoint and descended into hokey overwrought tripe. I’m sure I’m not the only writer who experiences this. How about you all? How do you realize when you’ve burned through your creative stores for the day? I’d like to know the warning signs so that I can “back way from the novel” before I destroy something good.
I’m considering adding Ellie, my daughter’s hamster, to my early warning system. She seems to befairly talented. Here’s a picture of her reading the text.
Here's another picture of her typing out, “Stop, you crazed woman, you’re ruining the chapter.”


  1. haha, you new assistant!

  2. Too cute! I need one of those! but then, my kitty might like it a little too well.
    I don't know that I have any reliable warning signs and if I do, I tend to ignore them. One is that I stop "feeling" it; I'm writing the words but I'm numb and the words are hollow. Only rereading at a later time tells me if it is drivel. I've actually written some decent stuff when I wasn't feeling it, so I never know.
    A numb caboose is a good sign too :).

  3. Admittedly, a writing hamster would be awesome.

  4. So cute!

    I have been there. Generally, I stop when the third attempt fails.


  5. Brings a whole new definition to "crit" partner. Critter partner!

  6. It's funny to see pictures of the hamster all over the keyboard because I'm sitting out in my front yard and I have a cat that's trying to get up in my lap and all over my keyboard!

    Good luck on your book edits. I just recently finished one up and published it. Editing, to me, is the most treacherous part of it all!

  7. Awww, Ellie is adorable. (haha, Lydia's 'crit partner'...good one ;)

    And, yeah, we all get to that point in our writing day where it's crappity crap crap. I solve it by stopping for the day or drinking more coffee.

    Fun blog you have here. :)
    Have a lovely weekend,