Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Brain Freeze

I know I'll be aging myself here, but anyone remember that PSA in the eighties that showed an egg frying in a pan with an ominous warning that went something like this  - "This is your brain." (the egg) "This is your brain on drugs." (egg frying) "Any questions?" As I begin another round of revisions, I think I might be changing that to - "This is my brain." "This is my brain during revision."


Wait, no, that's honestly not the right feeling. It's more like the above picture of a dried out sea sponge...empty. Maybe I shouldn't be posting this but I know in the past I've made it clear that I have a love/hate relationship with revision. Yes, it's hard but exciting and ultimately I embrace it, since revision is like 80% of the process, isn't it?

The dried out brain feeling is heinous, though. I feel like I've turned every stone, gone down every path, asked "what if?" about a gazillion times. The request for more revisions has me stymied because my characters have suddenly gone AWOL. ( It's summer, they're teenagers, I guess I should give them a break.)  I've taken to putting my subconscious to work, posing questions right before I go to sleep so when I wake up I can have a "eureka" moment.

Still waiting on that one.

In the meantime I'm working on small edits. I know it will all work out fine, my characters will sheepishly show up on my doorstep during down dog or while I'm taking a shower, but oh, the angst of waiting for it!!

So, Paper Waiters, have you ever felt this way? What do you do to remedy this feeling?


  1. When I'm revising if I ask questions before I go to sleep, sleep doesn't happen. But then again, I'm not often dealing with character traits, I'm usually pondering individual word choices.
    Hope fictional teens are more cooperative.

  2. Ah, Robin. I feel your pain. But maybe you just need some space? I know you want to get that sucker done and out into the world, but maybe a break is in order? Put it in a drawer and work on something else. Write a PB or short story. Come back to the novel in a few weeks and see what happens.