When You have a Pile of Sawdust: BURN IT.

11 Sep

Day 1/17

The pathetic side of my life exists when I find myself at my desk staring at a color-coded planner and eating whole grain pop tarts. Why I even bother to get the whole grain I don’t know, because there’s no way they actually have nutritional value even with the added saw dust fiber. So, as I pathetically sit at my desk eating pop tarts I have decided to talk about keeping things real up in here, at Novel Ideas. After all, if I can’t be honest with you all who can I be honest with?

Honestly I haven’t written in over a month. Sad. Sad, sadness. *cries* The last thing I worked on was ABLAZE and oh god it’s terrible. It’s really, really ,really abominable and dreadful and.. ugh. Bad. I know I say this every time I write a first draft, but oh god it’s just THAT bad. But since I sad I would finish it, I’m going to, dreadful as it is. Now that I have that slime wiped off my chest we can get on with what to do when you have a large pile of ugh… saw dust (lets go with that since it ties in with my first paragraph which really had nothing to do with anything).

Saw dust is a messy substance. Difficult to create with, usually the product of work that makes you all sweaty, and on top of this it has the annoying tendency to blow up in your face. (Oh gee this is actually a very apt metaphor!) So, at this point I am knee deep in saw dust (ABLAZE) and it’s looking rather like… well saw dust. How do you get through the rest of the saw dust; that  if you see this project through (which you should) will surely bury you? Here are my tips:

1: Expect the Expected

That is to say don’t be surprised at the fact that there is so much terribleness in your novel. Its going to be terrible, and somehow everyone (even me) at the beginning of a new project expects this fundamental truth to suddenly evaporate and that glittery rainbows will ribbon from the skies and your manuscript will be all glittery and fantastic. NO. Don’t kid yourself, no matter how great the idea will seem it will eventually reach suck-age. Thus you will always end up with a pile of sawdust. Granted (depending on the level of planning) sometimes the pile will be smaller than usually, but it will still exist. Expect it.

2. Wear Goggles

Having things, particularly saw dust or a manuscript blow up in your face is a rather terrible experience. A good way to provent this is to have a fall back (or some goggles) to help you see straight. In other words have another manuscript to refresh your vision when you are are tired of the wind blowing the dust up in your face.  Having another manuscript to work on will keep you fresh. Hacking through parts of a novel will only lead to the accumulation of more saw dust. Take a break, wipe off your goggles and breathe.

3. Burn It

At the end of the novel just burn it. Toss the match over your shoulder and watch it go up. If it’s really that bad at least you learned what NOT to do, and you can just start over. Besides saw dust burning is rather fun. you can laugh manically and roast marshmallows! It’s fantastic and I look forward to doing it when I finish Ablaze.

So, sawdust. opinions? Anyone in the midst of the stuff?

 

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2 Responses to “When You have a Pile of Sawdust: BURN IT.”

  1. gabriellan September 11, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    You have a really fascinating mind, Ally.

    I should be in a haze of sawdust, but I’ve swept it under my bed and am pretending that I don’t notice it languishing there. I think I’ll continue pretending at least until the weekend, when I can think straight about it without Shakespeare and Chaucer and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight also swirling around in my mind (I have a lot of literature quizzes this week).

    I kind of want to be at the burning point, but I know the novel’s worth something, and so I have to put it on my big girl pants and tough it out.

    Glad to have you back 🙂

  2. courtneysking September 12, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    Reblogged this on Courtney S. King.

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