Sunday, June 15, 2008

Blame it on the Weather

Tip of the Day: When you start arguing with your children about who in Pokemon's Team Rocket is the smartest, it's time to cut down on the cartoons and get back to work. (Oh, and it's obviously Meowth. Crazy kids.)

Man, I've been procrastinating something awful this week. I was writing two pages a day, five days a week, and all of a sudden, I can't make myself do a thing. I'm wondering why this sudden stubbornness to sit in front of the keyboard. Well, as an old friend of mine always said, if you can't blame it on the weather, you're not trying hard enough.

Seriously, it is HOT and STICKY. Now, I live in upstate New York so hot to me is probably relative, but 81 degrees is insane. You can't expect me to think in this heat and humidity. Today I sat on the couch and watched two hours of Monster Quest on the History Channel. Guess what? They didn't find any monsters. There's two hours of my life I won't get back.

I thought of other, more rational reasons I might be procrastinating:

1. The scene I'm writing isn't a fun one. I like my funny scenes and my scary scenes. I'm writing an MC bonding with her father scene and pumping him for family information. Not funny and not scary.

2. I don't have any notes. I do much better if I'm scribbled something down during the day to get me started on my night's writing. I can't think of anything to write down lately, though.

3. I have plot questions I haven't resolved in my head yet. Well, maybe, but I'm not going to resolve them by watching Monster Quest.

4. I'm trying to do too much in the first draft. This might be true. I'm trying to keep too much in my overheated mind. I want this scene to explain some things to the MC and raise other questions for her; I want her emotions clear; I want her motivations voiced; I want the description to be evocative; I want the dialogue distinct. I'm paralyzing myself trying to get all that done on the first try. I don't mind using sloppy language in the first draft, but I feel like I'm missing plot points. I have to accept that I'm going to miss one or two and let my critiquers tell me where I screwed up.

Eh, it all comes back to the weather. I'm procrastinating because I'm too hot to think out plot issues, too hot to make notes, too grouchy to ignore the problems in my first draft. This is exactly why I live in the snow belt, by the way. I used to live in Virginia. You know what I did a lot in the summer in Virginia? Complain. I didn't do much else.

Obviously I have to get over this or I'll waste my summer. Ice cream might help. I'd come up with other ideas but I think instead I'll go lie down under the ceiling fan and reflect on the hum of the air conditioner. Hummmmm.

-- Kate, Miss Apprentice Writer who needs more ice cream


DeenaML said...

OK, there has GOT to be a way to work Monster Quest into your book!

Lisa Schroeder said...

Ice cream DEFINITELY helps. Trust me. I know.

And I've gained five pounds in the last month as I've pounded out my latest novel. I have to make sure I have a couple of months before I start the next one so I can slim down before I start in again.

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

LOL, Kate! We've been going through the heat wave, too, but we finally got a reprieve. Right now, the possibility is that we will be moving to Georgia. Hmmm...some serious heat down there, too.

Can't do ice cream...Sorbet and popsicles anyone?

Ok...the book. That's right...I have one of those in the works too...

Hang in there, Kate! Maybe you'll get hypnotized by the ceiling fan and come out in a whole new direction...I feel a best seller coming your way!

Kate Fall said...

Ha ha, a best seller from the ceiling fan god. "This book came to me in a trance."

Lisa, you found the fatal flaw in my ice cream plan!

And the problem with Monster Quest is they never find a monster. I don't know why I keep watching it. But maybe I can overcome my procrastination by challenging myself to work in Monster Quest tonight.