The Falter Zone
Soooo. I always hit some sort of critical moment when I write my first drafts, where my imagination and writing brain desert me. It is….the Falter Zone. The point where the book stops being fun and starts becoming HARD. I try to have a subplot zipping around that I can stuff into those moments, jazz up the soggy middle and all. Sometimes works, sometimes it don’t. Sometimes I get the Great Hiccup of Confidence (G.H.C.). This goes something like: “Boohoo! my story is crap! Why am I bothering?” The G.H.C. usually appears after you get a Shiny New Idea (S.N.I.), after which your current work pales in comparison. Why, you need to get started on that S.N.I. straight away! This book wasn’t working anyway!!
I managed to get over the G.H.C. recently and am now on the home front for finishing the first draft of book 2 of a contemporary fantasy series. And boy, isn’t it a natty first draft. Or as I like to call it, Vomit on a Page (S.H.I.T.). When I did a course at the Queensland Writers Centre, my teacher referred to is as the Shitty First Draft. Now, I have a few of those hanging around, I know, because I looked at them a couple of months ago, wondering if there was anything salvageable. No. Computer says No. Those darlings are stone cold dead, I’m afraid.
It’s so hard to get those words down, so it’s extra awesome when you get over the hump of a book and realise you can finish it. I remember when I thought I could write a book; I was in high school and had just finished reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. I figured since it was so much fun reading, it would be so much fun writing. Every lunch time, for 45 minutes, I sat down in the computer room and started hammering out my epic fantasy story. Girl gets kidnapped by aliens and is forced to hunt for magical rocks!!! Girl is sent to fantasy, medieval times!! Girl befriends sexy elf!!! Girl fights a dragon!!! Then girl discovers the stones were destroyed and finds her way back home. But she’s crazy by this point. Ahhhh, who doesn’t love a good Mary Jane. Well, most people, but that’s not the point. I remember showing my English teacher my awesome 60,000 word story. I remember the feedback being: “Yes. Well. There certainly is a lot of action in it, isn’t there.”
Damned straight, woman!
Oh, and there was a sexy barbarian in the story, who had to protect the girl. Ohhhh yeaaahh. And he was all broody and dark eyed and seeeexy. I’m pretty sure he looked Patrick Swayze. I’d been going through a Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja phase at the time and the hormones were strong with me. I mean, who doesn’t love a cool barbarian story? Give me a tall glass of Robert E. Howard any day. Okay, not for everyone. But still.
So, back to what I was talking about. Once I finish my S.F.D., I’ll put that puppy aside for about three weeks before picking it up for a read. In the meantime, I am going to finish a second S.F.D., which I ABANDONED when I hit The Falter Zone. Needless to say, I doubt my characters will be very impressed with me when I show up, commanding they DANCE FOR ME PUPPETS! GO ON, DANCE! This story is a traditional paranormal romance, with outlawed biker werewolves, banished to a small town in Tasmania. My working title is: Biker Werewolves in Tasmania. Yes. I will change it. I have 25,000 words to go. And I’m gonna stare that Falter Zone demon in its red, glowing eyes and poke ’em out.