Monday, June 13, 2011

A Breakthrough


I've been working a new novel. The idea came to me last summer and the thing with really good ideas, well, they poke at you with pointy objects until you notice them. The jabs were getting quite painful so I created my bullet pointed list of ideas and let it simmer for a few weeks or so. Then I cranked out sixty pages in three days. I knew I was on to something.

Freeze here.

I'm the kind of writer that once I start I can't stop. I need long chunks of time to get the first draft out of my head. That sixty page dump took place last October on a weekend where I had the Monday off. Tuesday, my old job took over and the book jumped in the back seat until May 19th.

By the end of May I had a completed first draft, revision notes from my brilliant agent, and I was stuck. The novel was only 30,000 words.

What to do? What to do?

Sarah (my brilliant agent) gave me solid advice: Kate, give it time to breathe, then go back and read it through. Anyone who knows me personally knows I have a difficult time letting anything breathe. I am a "get it done and get it done now" kind of gal. I've been told no moss grows on me - by multiple people. I love progress. I love the feeling of  accomplishment and I really love a challenge. The challenge for me this time was to let the manuscript get a damn breath.

But I did.

I started at page 1 with my re-read and mid-way through - KABLAM - the breakthrough. The missing character detail for my MC tapped me on the shoulder and then headbutted me. I actually yelped at my desk so loudly that my husband came running in. My grin and fist pumping alleviated his fear and then he called me a spaz.

I love this book. I love my MC. I love everything about writing.

Do share your breakthrough stories - and they don't have to be about writing - breakthroughs happen all the time for all sorts of reasons ; )

P.S. I did a google search on "writing breakthrough" to find something I could link up to in this post and I found THIS -- go give her a shot in the arm....