Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Pantster and I are working on the last few pages of our current manuscript. We were talking Saturday about wrapping this story up and going back to start the editing process. Like most everyone, we want our manuscript to be as error free as we can make it, but, also like most everyone else, we don’t really think reading and re-reading for typos and other problems is any great source of fun. It is simply a task that must be done.
I have heard many people talk about this stage of the process--when the actual story is finished but all the work isn’t completed. It seems there are always errors to be found or changes that need to be made. Unfortunately, this is often the point in the process where many of us lose interest and our thoughts turn to the next project. In our case, moving on is especially tempting because we want to revise an already completed story. We're excited because we already know the characters plus it is set in the same town as our current manuscript. See what I mean? It is very tempting to let our thoughts drift over to this story when we need to stay focused on the current work in progress.
I don’t think this phenomenon is specific to writers. It seems that when many people get near the end of a major project, they lose interest, especially if the fun part is finished. This is probably why so many people have unfinished projects like half painted tables and partially landscaped lawns. In my hometown there was a house that had a renovation in progress with erected scaffolds and everything, when the lady of the house ran off with a U.P.S. man; her husband abandoned the renovation. I guess his heart wasn’t in finishing it, so the scaffolds stayed up for years and years. Literally, the house became a landmark for giving directions, “You know the house with the scaffolds, past the elementary school? Well, you need to turn at the next road to the left. That will be Smoky Road.”
Have you ever lost interest in a project before finishing? If so, what did you do? If not, please share the secret of your completion success with us.