Longing For The Right Word

     Last night I finally got to writing after dinner and the words were not flowing.  I was tired and preoccupied thinking about work, ie. the day job.  I was developing a scene and it was like squeezing the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube, and then it happened, I wrote the word “longingly.”  Now “longingly” by itself is not a bad word, but my character was not looking at him longingly, sure longingly was in there but what she really had were mixed feelings and she was longing not particularly for him, but for someone or something.  She was lonely and confused and “longingly” didn’t cut it.

     Now what to do.  I am a firm believer in “done is better than perfect,” let me rephrase that “DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT,”  and I was tired, and the words were not flying from the fingertips.  But “longingly” sat there mocking me.  It was wrong, it wasn’t even done, and I couldn’t lie to myself enough to pretend it was done or that I would go back later to fix it.  I hated it; not only an adverb, but an adverb of mythical proportions.  

     I rewrote the scene, without “longingly.”  I went back and did what all the books and writers say to do which is show don’t tell and I even surprised myself.  My character was grateful that I did not impose on her something she did not feel and she rewarded me.  I like when characters do that.  And I learned that the only way I can keep going is to stay honest.  Otherwise, I will end up with something I hate and, likely, a lot of adverbs.

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I’m Gonna Let Me Finish . . .

     I am interrupting my story/essay posts with an update.  I never thought I would post an update because I have never had anything to update UNTIL NOW!  (If you don’t like updates then please browse the other posts that @WriteStep thought were OUTSTANDING! )

     Since starting #novelpi with @merrileefaber on Twitter on Sept. 5th, I have written 35 days in a row and 32,396 words of what I like to call my #wip.  (I have picked up all these new expressions and hashtags and I sprinkle them around like new vocabulary words I’m not quite sure how to pronounce or use in a sentence. (Especially, W00t!))

         As you may or may not know, the #wip is a trashy romance novel with pirates and Victorian like erotica (see True Calling), even though the Golden Age of piracy when the story takes place was in the early-1700’s and the Victorian era, well, was not.  So far I have Captains named Hutchins and Scott, ships called the “Much Ado” and the “Merrilee,”  colorful characters Don, Collin and Morris.  Hey, when I’m in the moment and need a name nothing beats Twitter (I got the idea from @jchutchins. If you don’t want your name used, you should let me know).   I have done research because even when writing trash I’m a nerd and I need to know about bow lines, sails, masts, spars, gundecks, cannons, navigation, flags, oh, and there’s a pirate trial or two.  (I have become a pirate dilettante with just enough knowledge to irritate those that actually know about this stuff. If David Cordingly ever reads this book he will likely cringe more than once).

         What I have learned about writing so far – I don’t have to write chronologically; it gets easier as the story gets going; characters really do assert themselves; it doesn’t have to be perfect but it has to get done; writing every day works but takes time; and it’s fun. Last week, as I was writing I thought, “I have always wanted to read this book,” with something like glee. (Which is good because since Sept. 5th I have not watched TV and have missed “Glee” which I am informed (via Twitter) is OUTSTANDING!)

          You may now return to your regularly scheduled program. I #amwriting.