Two Wrongs Do Make a Write

Oh, how I have neglected you, Fair Citizens of the Internet!

I didn’t plan to be gone this long from the blog, I swears.

Normally I might as well just put a big X through the months of July and August because I get nothing done with the kids home from school, but that has emphatically not been the case this summer.

Of course productivity has come at a great price. I’ve been leading a Spartan existence of nothing but writing and yelling at my kids to pick up their wet towels off the floor. That’s it. Write, write, write. PICK UP YER DANG TOWELS. Write some more. DIDN’T I JUST TELL YOU TO PICK THAT TOWEL UP?

What a bore. I’m sure I’ve created a fun deprivation vacuum that’s the exact shape and size of my body.

And by the way, I’m starting to think that taking wrong turns is my literary M.O. It’s like I have some perverse need to go off in the wrong flipping direction in order to find the right one. It’s exasperating because I have to then delete a lot of words. This makes for Great Sadness, which in turn leads to Great Rationalization: I wouldn’t be where I am if I hadn’t sent the story off in the wrong direction first.

This makes me feel better not at all, but I say it to myself anyway. Then I have drink.

Then I have another drink.

Then I start drunk dialing my Muse and ask him why he has to be such a punk all the dang time. He respectfully reminds me that there’s always something I gain from the detours he sends me on and that inevitably, something I find along the wrong trail will become integral to the right one I later discover.  I then accuse him of being needlessly douchey about the whole thing, and the conversation ends with something like, “Oh, yeah? Say that to my face, why don’t you?”

You can see how hard I’m trying here. I’m trying to believe that nothing is ever wasted when it comes to writing. Two wrongs can make it right in the end.

Enough of that. Did you finally manage to get a tan this summer without all those weird strap marks?

Nah. Me neither.

Actually my tan looks very much like the background of this post.

11 comments to Two Wrongs Do Make a Write

  • Shephard

    I had to come read your article to find out why the lemurs were unleashed.
    You know, I totally get what you’re saying. My husband is a film-maker, and he and his story team often go down sideroads with a story, spin off on a lark, only to come right back to the fork in the road. But the story is always stronger for it. Been there, done that, crossed it off the list.
    Your writing made me laugh.

    • KLM

      Well, thanks for stopping by. I now know how to lure you to my blog. Bwahahaha! Perhaps my next headline will again feature lemurs as click bait!

  • You’re doing a lot better than I ever did with the wet towels thing. I always picked them up myself, because it was easier than repeating eleven times. Actually, I said it many times AND THEN picked them up. Your kids will thank you later.
    Tans fade anyway.

    • KLM

      Yes, that’s what I end up doing too. It goes like this: Yell, sigh, pick up the towels myself. Repeat until they cart me off to the Home for Exhausted Mothers Who Yell About Wet Towels on the Floor.

      I often say that you have to choose one of two ways to be as a mom, a nag or a doormat. Most days I go with the doormat option.

  • Glad you’re back! Your posts always make me laugh out loud. Are your books this funny?

    Your process sounds a lot like mine (and I whine to my Muse a lot too). I’ve tried outlining and all that crap, but it just doesn’t work for me. The first draft is always an investigative process and there are lots of wrong turns.

    I just have to live with it.

    • KLM

      Gosh, I hope they’re funny. Or maybe not. Tabula Rasa has its moments but it’s a thriller so I suppose it would be odd if the characters were cracking wise while blowing stuff up.

      Yes, I now consider myself both a failed pantser and failed plotter. Actually what is it called if you plan and then everything goes awry? That’s what we are, Dianne. Hybrid pantsplotters, rejected by both sides and wholly misunderstood. Fortunately, there is wine.

  • Hey there–I can relate! Failed pantsing my first book, finally plotted it after the fact, then a complete and total rewrite from scratch, causing much twitchiness. Now onto book two and trying to plot from the start. An editor friend just gave me some advice. She suggested writing each scene on a notecard, then after writing up that scene, taking a look to see if it moves the story forward. If not, delete and pitch the card. The idea is that my little brain will think, oh heck, it was just one eensy little notecard anyway…not sure if it will work but will try!

  • Oh, how often The Great Sadness has visited our land. We try to ward it off with chocolate, but it never stays at bay for long.

  • Man, I hear you. I save everything I delete in what I call a ‘cut’ document, and by the time I’m on a final draft (is it ever final?) my cut document is about twice as long as the manuscript. That’s 3 novels for every one. Great Sadness indeed.

  • I pretty much disappear from the Internet during the month of July too. Sadly, I don’t get much writing done either. But now that school has started, my life is about to change. LET’S HEAR IT FOR SCHOOL!

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