Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Vulture Luck

It started with Christmas break. I'd reached the end of chapter 9 in my new story when I had to take some time off to wrap presents and play with the kids. It threw my writing schedule into a tailspin.

On 1/22-23, I'm going to use my last two days on the Mata Hari e-book in an attempt to jump start sales. The Christmas giveaway hit my all time low of 125 books in 3 days. My dad call these periods "vulture luck" where you can't kill anything and nothing will die for you. Before Christmas, I was invited to an author event at the library and ordered $100 in paperbacks to sell there. The local paper never printed the ad, and I only sold one book. The others, I'm giving away on Goodreads this month in exchange for reviews.

Then I got the flu for a week and couldn't think let alone write. When I could rub two braincells together, I decided that chapters 8 and 9 needed something more. So I researched zombies and Mormon missions. That didn't help. Relatives visited. Then I got sick for another week--different flu. As I drift off to sleep, I still hear the same Christmas carol over and over. By now, I'm convinced the story is crap. Sigh. I show it to a friend and he tells me its good except by 9 we should be at the next bit of action because the plot is dragging. I trimmed and rewrote. It still sucks.

I like when I read stuff from ten years ago and say to myself. "This is good. You were in the zone."
This week, I kept writing and it's bone dry. I say things like, "you could at least add some description so I can see well enough to be bored." For the first time is ages, I'm not feeling it. Do you remember that commercial with the talking stain? No one can hear what the job candidate is saying because the stain is talking so loud? Mine has been muttering "crap" for days.

Taking my friends' and wife's advice, I persevered. Yesterday, I got one good replacement line.

"His face was precious, showing the same horror that one of the girls in my second-grade class had when I told her glitter glue was made from My Little Pony carcasses"
Today, at last, chapter 10 is good and chapter 11 caps off the whole subsection of the book 21K words. I'm writing it in three distinct sections. Section two is a ghost story in England and I'm adapting it from an existing short story (9K words). This means I'm almost back on schedule for the cover in mid-Feb for a March release.

All it takes is one good chapter and things start to flow again. Just keep writing.

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