Up To My Wrists In Mire

As my fingers tap the keys, they seem to sink deeper and deeper into the mire of the story until finally my hands are buried wrist deep in it. But still I type. Words pour into the story. Clever words, of course, so clever that when I finally finish this first draft, I’ll hardly have any editing to do at all.

*Excuse me while I un-stick that exaggeration from my throat before I pass out from lack of oxygen*

I’m not even in the middle of the story, the usual slogging spot of a story. I’m past it and revving up to the exciting conclusion. Yet, even though the words are flowing and the tap-tap-tapping resounds through the house, I don’t seem to be making progress in the story. Or not the progress I’d expect.

Perhaps it is because the story has already played out in my head and the tedious task of typing it out takes so much longer than I have the patience for. Maybe there is more story than I expected when the movie reel spun to empty inside my brain.

All I know is that I’m so anxious to type the final words of the first draft. I’m longing to announce that the story is complete. For the first time in my life I’m looking forward to editing!

My fellow writers, I’m sure you can commiserate with me. Now it's your turn. I’d love to hear how you keep yourself focused on the end goal. Do you reward yourself? Do you threaten yourself? How do you keep yourself from becoming the lazy writer that doesn’t vet out the story near the end? HOW? Because right now the ending my kids used to use sounds good.

Then everybody died - the end.

Back to the mire…


  1. One day at a time; one page at a time. Slog, slog. If only there were a magic formula. It always helps me to set goals. Will finish this chapter today, only three more to go. Will finish manuscript by ____. Reward: dark chocolate and/or wine.

    My bigger problem is that bribing with dark chocolate and wine doesn't work to motivate me to edit. Give me a first draft any day.

  2. I know, Karen, I love the first draft too. Not so much the editing. Maybe I should try chunking this segment into smaller doses. Or, I should just lock myself away (without internet!) and plow through. I'm so close.

  3. I'm WAY more of a first draft girl, too. Revisions make me pull my hair out.

    BUT I've been where you are, too, where I kept thinking "why is it taking me so long to get to The End?" I always seem to underestimate how long the crescendo to the climax, the climax, and the conclusion take. It is always MANY, MANY pages longer than I think it will be. So I keep typing, typing, typing, and it just goes on and on and on! But I don't think it ever reads that way in the actual book. ;-)

    I just finished the first massive revisions for my new editor at Harpercollins and she told me that she would much rather see her authors write too much than not enough. She said it's often much easier to cut a manuscript than try to expand. So she told me to go for it! ;-) Her editorial notes had a lot of expansion in many of the scene by scene play.

    Good luck, but try to have fun, too!

    1. That's very encouraging to hear even editors would rather trim down. That will help inspire me to do the hard work and keep typing it out.

      FTR, I am having fun.

      Congrats on finishing the revisions. Those letters can be so scary to open.

  4. When I'm close to the end and seem to stand still without forward progress, I might write a couple of different ways to get to the ending and the ending itself. Then in the edits, hope one of them will soud just right.

    You'll get it. Keep typing. :)


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