I finally broke down and bought myself a new computer. I hate to admit how much of my productivity is tied to having a piece of equipment I can actually use, but there it is. I was actually afraid to work on my novel when every time I tried to save a change the darn program crashed on me. I felt it stunted my progress. It made me wary of edits, which slowed down the way I thought about the story, until I wasn’t actually producing anything at all. Luckily my brain is more reliable, and so I’ve been able to continue thinking about the story. In fact, I’ve had a breakthrough as to the plot of the third book. I’ve always known how I want everything to end, but I’ve gone through several permutations on the path the characters take to get there. Now I feel like I’ve got something solid. Those months spent off the computer weren’t wasted, after all.
It’s amazing how quickly I digress, so to get back to my original point, I now have full access to my files again and can get back to my edits. A dear friend of mine just finished reading the first draft of the first novel in the series, and she seemed to really enjoy it. Very encouraging! She did find a couple of spots where she had questions about what happened, which gives me an opportunity to tighten up my story and my writing a bit. I’m so excited to be able to jump back into it.
In addition, my son, who’s almost walking now, has started to sleep a little. Not a lot, but a five hour stretch of solid sleep does wonders, especially when compared to waking every one to two hours. Yipes.
In talking to my friend about the novel, she brought up Nancy Pearl’s idea that people read for one of a few things (I’m taking a lot of liberties with Ms. Pearl here, since I didn’t hear her original dialogue on the subject and am even paraphrasing my friend). People either read for plot, for character, or for setting. My friend is someone who reads for plot, whereas I am someone who reads for character. The fact that she enjoyed my book and plowed through it, as plot-focused as she is, makes me very glad, but she also became interested in the characters. I hope that speaks well for the strength of my characterization.
Now that I have a new computer, a semi-sleeping baby, and another person’s opinion of my story under my belt, I guess I’ve pretty much run out of excuses to not be working on this thing. Thing is, that break was just the thing I needed to get really excited about writing again.