Thursday, July 7, 2016


Lately, my husband and I have been doing a lot of remodeling to our 22 year old house.  Unlike what you see on HGTV, the real thing is a huge headache.  You've got to get bids, everything costs way more than you expect, and the work takes a lot longer and is a lot more messy than you expected.

Writing is like that too.

The book I'm writing now - due in a week and a day (Yikes!) sounded good in the synopsis I proposed.  Full of complex emotion, my editor exclaimed.  I was jazzed, ready to write it, and got started as soon as I turned in the previous book.

And I hit a snag.  Untangled that, wrote more, and hit another.  They began piling up on top of each other until I was buried under a tarnished pile of words and events.   I sat down, tried plotting on paper (which I'm not good at) and did a total rewrite, changing out one of the major elements.  After several days wasted on that, I realized the first version was the way the story was supposed to be, and went back to it.  It's a painful lesson, but like tearing down and rebuilding a bathroom shower, it takes time and patience and work.  Lots of work.

In a story like this, when one is trying to seamlessly weave all the various threads, I worry if there's enough romance!  Enough suspense!  Enough of everything.  Or too much of everything.  In the end, all I can do is sit my behind down and write.  It's due in 8 days and I have about 100 pages to do.

When I look around my house, at the new tile, the new light fixtures and sinks and faucets, I know a visitor only sees the finished result.  Not the dust and the construction crews tromping up and down the stairs.  I hope my story is like that.  When a reader picks it up to read, they won't see all the missteps and rewrites and worries.

What is one project you have completed that started out with a bunch of missteps?  A recipe you made, something you knitted or sewed, a piece of furniture you stripped and painted?  Tell me, so I won't feel so alone!


  1. I always wish I was a plotter instead of a pantser, but I kind of think it wouldn't matter; I'd still end up "remodeling" like you are. Good luck with both projects, Karen!

  2. LOl. So much easier planning the renovation than the storyline.

  3. Yes, remodeling is like writing a book. Our kitchen remodel of 3 weeks which ended up being 8 weeks just ended. My WIP which should have taken 3 weeks is not into 6 months just due to too many personal obligations and interruptions. I'm a plodder--yes, you read that correctly. I plot and plod along, writing in the odd minutes that I have. Eventually I finish. *LOL*

  4. Karen - everything I do is by trial and error, so I totally understand your problem. ;-)

  5. Very good analogy, Karen. Writing is sooooo hard, and it never gets easier. No matter how many books we do, we're never confident about our story. And pulling all those threads together is no easy task. Best of luck cranking out those last 100 pages. I guess this mean no national for you. I leave Tuesday for San Diego. . . any other Gems going?


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