Most times, he's waiting for me to finish up a press kit or a bit of copy for a brochure, or to polish, say, a pitch letter. Him: *jingles keys impatiently* Me: I just have to tweak this release. Just gimme five minutes. Five minutes.
TWENTY MINUTES LATER
Him: *sighs through his nose*
Me: *typity-typity-type-type-type* Almost done...
Him: *removes Kyle Busch cap, sets keys back down, knows he's not going anywhere*
Me: *guilty glance in his direction* No! Seriously, I'm almost done. No, I am. Really. Just five more minutes...
Thing is, I don't mean to take so long. Really, in my head, it only takes me, like, an hour to write up some copy. But in the real world, that hour is more like three hours, forty minutes.
And that worries me about my novel. WHY do I take so long? WHY do I write so slowly? And this chestnut: WHY do I feel like everyone else is freakin LEAGUES ahead of me? Because I do. I feel like other writers are just swimming away with their novels, already on their, like, fourth, while I plod through my second.
Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.
I'm trying to finish this thing up. I am. But I know just how far I have to go. And as I work through this draft, I'm trying to remember Lilith Saintcrow's Permission To Suck Method, which hopefully will help me get this f!cking draft done. (Quoth the Saintcrow, "Don’t worry about whether the writing is any good. Right now that’s the least important fucking thing on the planet. The MOST important thing is sitting down and getting the sh!t out, so that you can see where you are and correct your aim if you’re not where you want to be." Nice, right? Easy, right? Turns out, not so much. SILENCE, you Inner Editor! Silence!)
I'm also hoping Scott G.F. Bailey's approach to the sagging middle (basically: First Act=What happens, Second Act=How the characters feel about what happened [using internal conflict as a way to avoid the sag] and Third Act=The resolution) will help me finish. I'm using it as a general three-pronged approach to noveling as a whole:
1. Get the story down (first draft, i.e. what happens)
2. Layer in the psychology (second draft, i.e. how the characters feel about it)
3. Apply polish (third draft, i.e. tightening sentences, using precise language to better effect)
I'm still struggling with number one, y'all. Since my subplots heavily involve my character's secrets, I keep trying to figure out all of their psychology in this initial draft, which slows the whole freakin process. Somebody please help me remember that I just have to get the story DOWN first. Nailing the deeper psychological subtext/subplot comes NEXT. (Zoe, please remember that you don't have to get all the subplots right in the first pass. Got it?)
Ugh. I feel like my "wants-to-have-already-written" self is at the door, jingling her keys. And my "just-give-me-five-more-minutes" self is bent over the keyboard, feeling the pressure, thinking I can get it done in five minutes when my process is such that it takes, yanno, five HOURS.
Why does it take so long, dammit??