Friday, July 11, 2008

Performance Anxiety

Last night the vast majority of Affairs, which I have designated Acts I & II (because, structurally speaking, that's what they are, even though there is no explicit designation in the novel) went to my alpha readers. Now it is time to write Act III, which will be relatively short. I know what *must* happen in this act, e.g. the climax & conclusion: I feel confident of how I will write them. But there is a small set of plot points which, were time and word count no issue, I would also include--and I am dithering over whether to include them or push them into the next volume.

I use the word "dithering" advisedly. I am in my full-on neurotic-writer place this morning. I've had to get out my magical Writing Earrings and Writing Mug which I bought up in the mountains during last year's writing retreat. (How did they get to be magical? By association. I bought them in my Writing Place, during a week--a WEEK--when I slammed out 75 rather kick-ass pages. Have I mentioned I can't wait to get back up there next month?)

I don't have time to dither. The Shorn launch is next weekend, and one of the Mercury Retrograde authors plans to bring me a ms. while he's here for the event. It will make today's neurosis look like a quiet afternoon at the beach if I have not finished this novel, which I planned to finish in May, by then. And I'll be damned if I will be STILL WORKING on this novel at this year's retreat. What's a neurotic to do?

Well, I know what comes before that decision point. I will go write that this morning, and trust the muse to know what he's doing, as usual. I'm fairly certain he already knows exactly what to do, and the reason I'm dithering is that I'm applying the wrong side of my brain to the problem.

Must go write.

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