Making Time

time pieceIt’s just before 4 a.m.

I’ve woken up, my eyes springing open because a) the cat came to me, wanting to be held, and b) I think I’ve messed up my novel’s time-line.

So, I’m in our guest-room, trying to unravel this dilemma, knowing the only real way to fix it is to open up my laptop and take a look. And yet, if I do that, I can kiss sleep goodbye. At least for a few more hours.

Time is hard.

I’ve put myself in this jam because in my last draft of this novel, I decided to pass a few days in between sections.

I think this decision came about because I’d taught a workshop around then that dwelt a bit on summary and scene. It felt right to summarize a few days rather than anchor myself in those scenes.

In this draft, I realize, to be blunt: that’s stupid.

So, I tried to fix it, but made this mistake, which I didn’t realize, as happens, until my brain relaxed enough to spill it (as an aside, my best stomach-dropping middle-of-the-night-eyes-springing-open moment was when I realized that I’d written, in a cover letter for an application to work at a library, that I had described myself not as a voracious reader but a VIVACIOUS reader. Gah!).

Tomorrow (today?) I must rip back the web and re-spin. Which will mean adjusting and abandoning some writing I’ve grown fond off, making more from scratch.

Have I mentioned how hard I find time?

I remember, late in the process of writing Swarm, having to go through the novel looking for moon stages.

One of the last scenes needed a bright, full moon so I had to make sure any mention of that night sky aligned with all other references (and I seem to like letting readers know what’s up with the moon). This novel is more challenging, moving through time from the perspectives of several characters.

The cat is back, wanting to use my notebook as her bed.

I think I’m also ready to sleep.

The simple truth: there is no way to address this problem except the following.

Slow things down to the moment. Work through that moment.

Repeat.

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7 Responses to Making Time

  1. mary-lynn murphy December 8, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

    I’m loving your blog, Ms. Vivacious; many familiar moments. Also, just recently finished Swarm, which cost me some sleep! Couldn’t put that thing down. Sunk in the dark zone, drawn into the story and characters. Thank you for a compelling read, Lauren. I’m looking forward to the next one.

    • Lauren
      Lauren December 9, 2015 at 9:07 am #

      Thank you! You made my day 🙂

  2. Sandra December 4, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    you are a Vivacious Reader! that was purely Freudian. in my novel, i gave up on time. i decided time doesn’t matter when you’re writing fiction. however, i might note, your attentiveness to these kinds of details may be (partially–talent being another factor) why you are a published and successful working author and i alas am not!

  3. Cheryl December 4, 2015 at 9:03 am #

    I find time hard as well in another way. I ‘time travel’ when I write and, true to time travelling, I find it disorienting (a wee bit of motion sickness too) that five hours flew by in what I thought was a one-hour void. Adjusting, slowly but don’t think Iill ever get used to it. Setting alarms to feed the dogs … they’re happy at least.

    • Lauren
      Lauren December 4, 2015 at 11:49 am #

      That sounds like a great problem to have, Cheryl! Not the motion sickness part though 🙁

  4. Mohamad December 3, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

    HI Lauren, I feel your frustration… I’m struggling with similar issues as I come closer towards finishing my novel. I tell myself that every step that I make that gets me closer to the finish line is a good achievement. Wish you success

    • Lauren
      Lauren December 4, 2015 at 11:50 am #

      Sounds like a great attitude. Good luck! Your novel is needed, especially these days!

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