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May 21, 2017

Comments

Patrick

It is hard work harnessing ones talent to create a work with which you are happy. If you were less talented, it would be a lot easier to get to the finish. Such is your curse ...

Steve

Thanks for pointing out the silver lining, Patrick! I'm often frustrated by how sssssssslllllllooooooowwwwwwwlllllly I write, but the end product is probably better for it. I don't necessarily think that fast writing equals bad writing, but for me slow/agonizing writing does usually mean (I think/hope!) good writing.

JT

When I'm writing, I find myself wanting to fast-forward to the part where I'm saying "There are so many people I need to thank . . ."

Aside from anything else, you've chosen a really hard subgenre to work in. The dialogue has to seem natural, but it also has to work around to all those plot points. If you let the action slow down you'll peeve one set of readers, but if you don't provide long talky sleuthy bits you'll peeve another. My Stetson is off to you, that's all I can say.

Steve

{{{When I'm writing, I find myself wanting to fast-forward to the part where I'm saying "There are so many people I need to thank . . ."}}}

I'm definitely there! And the first person I would thank is *me* for continuing to push through when I'd lost all momentum.

{{{If you let the action slow down you'll peeve one set of readers, but if you don't provide long talky sleuthy bits you'll peeve another.}}}

That's part of what I've been wrestling with. The Holmes on the Range books are first and foremost mysteries, but I wanted to pump up the Western-ness this time around. It's been a lot harder to do than I anticipated, largely because of the tricky balancing act you mention.

John

Then there's the 60,000-word point at which you realize the last 15,000 are off the rails, and maybe the 5,000 before that, and spend a month cycling between 45,000 and 50,000 . . . and if you ever get the mess cleaned up to that point, there's maybe 40,000 to go after that. And we do this because writing is fun? Book writing should be tagged # Sunk Cost Fallacy.

Steve

Oh, man -- I've been there! I feel like I've figured out what was going wrong with the current book and I'm almost done fixing it, so hopefully the next 40,000-ish words will come more easily. But you never know. The scenario you describe is possible, too.

I'd never heard of the Sunk Cost Fallacy before, by the way. Now that I've looked it up I think it's going to haunt me. It's certainly something every writer should be aware of...and beware of.

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