Phrase of the Week: Pushing Your Luck

I am delighted to report 54,459 words tonight, a finished myth, and the first draft of the next scene is complete.

I’m having to wrench myself away from an immediate rewrite, because when the writing is fun, it’s easy to overextend yourself and the spend the next week, or two, or six paying for it. I’ve learned over the years that sometimes when you come to a good stopping point, stop. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a rewrite go smoothly if I attempt it immediately after finishing the first draft, and sometimes it’s best to just be grateful you had a good writing session without pushing your luck.

But it was a great session, 3000 words, more or less, as well as some plotting time and updates to the map and my wiki. I got to write one of my Delightful Ideas, as well as writing another planned event that kind of rushed up on me. This is one of the challenges of the space between milestones, pacing these kind of smaller shifts and events so they’re not abrupt, so they’re not packed too close together around acres of traveling tedium. Sometimes it’s a little too obvious that even the author has realized their characters have been hiding in a forest for months, the pacing has slowed down to a crawl, and they had better have something exciting happen or the reader is going to put the book down.

Pacing is something that’s really hard to plan or even describe, at least for me. It’s like flow. I can tell when writing is flowing, or when it isn’t. It just has a sound to it. I don’t think I could describe what makes writing flow or not if my life depended on it. Pacing is nearly as hard to define. I’m sure there’s a dictionary definition somewhere, but in terms of applying it to an actual book, it’s much more difficult to say, x is what makes the pacing wrong. Or right.

So I’m hoping I got the pacing right today. It feels like I did. But I’m going to close the file and let it rest til tomorrow, because picking at it today would be pushing my luck.


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