I intended to take a break this past weekend. Take at least one day to relax, play some games, give my brain a rest. Instead, I spent most of it working; so much for bad intentions. After spending part of the weekend flipping through the entire book for the umpteen-millionth time looking for problems, my brain was completely fried.
Make that IS completely fried, because I am having a seriously unproductive day. I started writing three separate times, and shoved all three attempts away in disgust. I’m even struggling to write about how much I’m struggling.
There are always days like this. Thankfully, they’re relatively rare, and I’m pretty sure that this one is more about the impending release than it is about the writing. Make sure the eBook is ready! Make sure the print version is ready! Spend hours and hours obsessing about where the proofs are! Write the second book! Pay attention to your day job! Ho! Ha ha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! Ha! Thrust!
I don’t have a cure for writer’s fatigue. It works itself out, one way or another. Sometimes I do take a break, and that helps. Sometimes, I just keep plugging away until the fog clears. The best part about a first draft is that it’s a first draft. I don’t read over it, or try to rewrite what’s already written — that’s what second drafts are for. The rules for a first draft are simple: just keep pounding at the keys. Someone more organized than I am would probably have outlines and notes and stuff, but I just have a spreadsheet with lists of characters and a brief description of each one.
I am coming to the conclusion that I need some kind of board for the second book. There’s a tricky bit that involves moving a lot of characters around in a finite space, and I keep wasting time worrying that I’ve lost track of someone. I haven’t — yet — but it would help if I had a visual representation to reassure myself. I drew up a floor plan of the place as it emerged; I was worried that people would start walking through walls or teleporting around if I didn’t keep it straight. Now I need little characters to move around it. It’s a bit like playing Clue. I definitely need to keep an eye on Mrs. Peacock, or she’s liable to do something nasty the moment my back is turned…