I just hit submit on Book #2 of the Clock Shop Mystery Series. What an interesting process that final push is. Reading and rereading. Moving things around, and then going in and making sure the timeline works. Exorcising the bad habits I have–starting sentences with “well”, sighing, and using conjunctions in odd ways are my top three. By no means are they they only ones.
Towards the end of the process, I leave it for a couple of days, and then I read it through, as a reader. Not as the author. Without my editing hat. As a reader. Each time I do that with my own work, I always have a moment where I wonder aloud, where did that come from?
Sometimes I don’t remember writing a scene. Other times, more often, I will add a character, or a prop, or a reference that plays a role I didn’t anticipate when I wrote it. Yet the use is really good, and adds a layer of complexity that thrills me. I take no credit for those flashes of brilliance. Instead, I am grateful that I was sitting down at my typewriter when the muse came by for a visit.
Elizabeth Gilbert first introduced this concept to me. It gives me faith in my process of plotting and then writing the book scene by scene. No matter how prepared I am, when Rina shows up, fully formed, let her in. She’s going to make it a better book, one that I didn’t expect.
Enjoy this TED Talk. May the muse visit you soon!