Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Panda-cide and Other Forms of Writerly Insanity

I'm getting deeper into an entirely new universe for me- a scary one where I have to dodge the Scylla and Carybdis of not enough sex, too much sex, and the kind of glorified nymphomania that only exists between pages populated by yoga-limber, acrobatic twenty-somethings who think they've invented the deed. I'm talking about New Adult, people. Which can be downright smutty, and I don't want to go there, but I do know I want to push past the sex-as-euphemism thing that abounds in YA.

I've had to change my entire manner of writing, going from simple past tense to the strange but more emotionally punchy first person present. And I'm alternating between boy and girl. I don't typically write boys. I have, but only as a part of a huge cast of characters, and only in third person. And this boy? He's an intense sort of fellow, who demands that I dig deep and do him justice. So there's a lot of stretching myself going on, to say nothing of the whole "how will I find the time" and "I'm never going to finish on time" and "Ohmigosh I better skip the shower and order takeout, because if I don't, I will fail to make word count, and then something horrible will happen, like an oil spill or an endangered species going extinct. Probably pandas. Yep, pandas." When, of course, this is in no way related to writing in any way.

(Are you sure? Pandas are already walking a thin line...)

Sigh. Just the f*%# up already!

In other words, I am getting to that place I call "Going off the map." This is not a good place. Most writers reach it, at some point or other. Some of us actually live there through the entire writing process. But usually we sink into the crazy for a bit, and get so sick of ourselves, and everyone else gets that sick of us, too, that we manage to claw our way out. And so, when I'm looking at that blank part of the map that proclaims "Here be monsters," it's good to take stock and listen to the wisdom of others who have been there.

Like this amazing and hilarious post from Claire LeGrand: Ya'll Please Remember to Shower.

And this tirade of wisdom from the terrible mind of Chuck Wendig: How Not to Bug The Fuck Out When Writing a Novel. 

And it helps to re-read my own blog for evidence of prior insanity that was, eventually, conquered, like this and this. And maybe this.

And after absorbing all of that, one more back into the breach I go, and I can only hope some of that wisdom will stick. Or that at least, this time, I will not lose my peace of mind, if not my mind itself.