Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Ten (or so) Chapter Hamster Wheel

I've developed this annoying little quirk in my writing. Well, actually, it's more than annoying and a lot more than a little quirk. After about the first ten (to thirteen) chapters in a WIP, I get bogged down. Or maybe a better analogy is fired up. It's not writer's block, it's just the opposite. My muse goes into overdrive and starts working simultaneously on ways to make earlier chapters better, more interesting, more suspenseful, ramp up the suspense in the middle, while it's chomping at the bit to get to the dynamic end. The result. Hamster Wheel. The wheels turn and turn and turn, but I don't get anywhere.

I've now reached the Ten Chapter Hamster Wheel (TCHW) on two successive novels. I know I'll jump off the wheel and get back on track, but meanwhile the muse is in hypersonic "monkey brain" mode and it's very difficult to focus and move ahead when it's flying off in forty directions.

Ah, the joy of an over-active imagination. I think this is where left brain is supposed to kick in and get right brain back with the flight program.

"See here, now, Right Brain. Start focusing all that creative rocket power into forward motion or you're just going to keep spinning in big circles in the sky," Left Brain says.

And Right Brain replies, "Wheeeeeeeeee. Oh, shiny!"

Sometimes I just have to let right brain get to the end of its amusement ride before I achieve creative control. Meanwhile, if you can't beat 'em...

*fastens seat belt and throws hands in the air*

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