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Writing Backwards!

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted. Life keeps getting in the way of well…life. You know – the daily struggle to find flat surfaces, the pile of clean laundry that needs to find its way to various bedrooms and the ever growing gaggle of plants which need to go in the ground. But enough about that. Let’s get to how the writing’s going!

Last month I went to a writing workshop, which was fabulous. Then I came home and gave myself a week to recover, catch up on sleep and deal with the general chaos around here. After that I went back to the story in progress and sat in front of my computer and tried to work on it. Not much luck. For a week I don’t think I got over a hundred words a day, which is  hair tearing progress. This blog post is already that long, so really, only a hundred words in four hours is truly agonizing for me. I just kept going over the same old ground and tweaking, unable to move forward and unable to concentrate. Even though I knew where the story was going. So after a week and a half of that, I was going crazy.

Then I had a dream that was bizarre and scary, but had story potential. Decided to set the first story aside for awhile and began working on the dream. I wrote up the chunk from the dream plus a little more. Then I worked backwards and forwards a little more the next day. And the next. And the next. (In between doctor’s appointments, classroom volunteering, organizing life, oh and plant sales.) (And did I forget to mention quality time with the family? Oops.)

I usually write stories in a linear way. Start at the beginning and move forward until I hit the end. And I don’t normally know the end when I start. Makes it more fun that way and I get to have surprises. So writing backwards is truly strange and unnerving. Like trying to find puzzle pieces in a junk drawer. But every day I got a little farther and Tuesday I made it to the end. Then I went back and added any missing bits in, since I had the skeleton down.

It was truly a difficult process. I know writers who write nearly every story this way. OMG. I’d go insane if that was me. So grateful that my usual process is more straightforward.

So after I finished that story, I went back to the previous one and wrote a couple thousand words of forward movement in a couple hours. Back to normal. So, I’m hoping that I’m finished with workshop hangover and can just get on with things!

And go back to ignoring the dust puppies.

 

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