I’ve been a fan of Survivor for years (with a brief detour while they got Russell Hantz out of their system), and this season I began watching The Amazing Race as much for the geography and scenery as the competition itself. They’re fun to watch, especially Survivor with all the alliances and blindsides and the craziness (I didn’t realize one of this season’s contestants was Russell’s nephew and yes, Jeff, it IS in the blood).
So, who else thinks writing is a lot like a reality show. There’s a prize (typing The End and maybe publication) at the end. If you’re entering contests you have other contestants and a prize. You’re probably going to have some research so you may get to delve into many different areas. I’ve had to research, among other things, family law, the city of Atlanta, surrogate pregnancies, sperm banks, the IRS, divorce laws in various states, adoption, female war-related amputees, Hannukah, hurricanes and pictures of Bradley Cooper. That last one was a real chore because I had to look through lots and lots of pictures to find just the right one that showed off his baby blue eyes and had just enough five o’clock shadow and had his hair just long enough and… Sorry. I got off track.
Like a reality show you may have to eat some crazy things, like peanut butter sandwiches every night because you can’t take the time to cook a proper meal because you have a word count to meet each day. Or you may hit a roadblock and have to back up and figure out a way around it. Yesterday I discovered a HUGE continuity error in chapter one of my novella. ACK! I missed it and my beta reader missed it. Then suddenly it stood out like a big pimple on prom night.
Whatever it is, writing is rarely smooth. No matter if you’re a plotter or pantster, the inevitable challenge will present itself and you’ll have to meet it head on.
Last month I took on the SpeedBo challenge. And I met my goal — to take 12,000 words I’d written in November of 2011 and write another 13,000+ to turn it onto a novella. I did it — a couple days ahead of schedule. I rewarded myself with a “Be Kind to Marilyn” weekend where I just relaxed. I had a massage. I read. I watched a movie and some TV shows. I took a nap. It was great!
And now I get to tackle that pimple… er… continuity error. I’ve been pondering it and I think I have it figured out. But who knows what lurks in the remaining chapters. I don’t have immunity yet. There may be a speed bump or two. The muse might decide to drop her buff and quit.
Meanwhile I have this nifty certificate, courtesy of the Seekerville gang. Thanks, guys! And thanks too for the first chapter critique I won Saturday. Good thing I caught that big mistake, huh?
What challenges have you faced recently?