Let’s be honest with each other, shall we?
Procrastination is always in the job description, whether it’s disguised as waiting for a manuscript to “mature”(yes, I did once meet an author who described waiting for his work in progress to mature, like it was a fucking hunk of cheese. I barely managed to stop myself from punching his pretentious face), or being upfront with yourself and owning up to the laziness.
Anyways, it’s time for me to open up in a brand new way to you, my closest strangers. I feel like we’ve become so close in the past ten seconds since you started reading this post, and I just can’t stand keeping this secret anymore, not when our relationship has matured to this extent. It wouldn’t be fair to you…I just hope (sob, sob) that you won’t think too badly of me once you know.
How was that for melodrama? I think I have the makings of an excellent drama queen…you know, if I weren’t an introverted bitch with an aversion to crowds. Is it just me, or is being the centre of attention the absolute worst?
Okay, this secret: I have been procrastinating on my manuscript. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sending it out to beta readers and looking over their reviews and stuff; I just haven’t started fixing anything yet. Which I probably should be doing. Shouldn’t I?
Allow me to paint you a picture.
You’re writing a sex scene (really, what other kind of picture did you expect me to paint?) where person A is stripping and person B is “supervising”.
So, Person A is bending over, dragging their pants over their hips, Person B is distracted by the invisible (imaginary) fly that just happens to be buzzing over person A’s ass, which is the only reason they’re staring.
“Well, are you just going to keep staring at my ass all day, or are you going to do something about it?” Person A says, straightening up and smirking over their shoulder.
“T-there was a fly?” Person B stutters.
“Then come rescue me from it.”
Person B hurries over, only to misjudge the distance and bump into Person A, knocking them both on the floor.
“I-I’m sorry,” Person B stutters, trying to keep his weight off of the warm body beneath him.
Person A is laughing too hard to reply.
“That was either the best or the worst kiss I’ve ever gotten.”
“But we didn’t kiss.” Person B’s eyebrows mash together, making him look adorably confused.
Person A softly pecks him on the mouth.
“Now we have.”
Okay, that’s your scene. Half your beta readers say it was fantastic and they want the couple to be together forever, living with fifty thousand puppies under a rainbow; the other half are confused about the relationship, and don’t understand why this scene had to take up an entire chapter. You know that the relationship is important to develop because it’ll come into play later…plus, sex is fun to write. It’s PG13 sex too, so who cares?
What do you do? The obvious solution is to flip a coin, but you don’t know how to look bad-ass doing that.
The second most obvious solution is to shorten the scene and put in more action, so both audiences get pleased. The problem? It’s going to take so much time!
First you have to figure out which part of the banter is stupid enough to cut out, then you have to figure out how to transition from sexy times to gore and blood, and then you actually need to write that shit, in such a way that it doesn’t sound like a patchwork quilt come to life.
At some point, you have to do it, but why now?
What if we all just took a breath and went out to enjoy life a little? What if we just pretended that we’re fun-loving extroverts and kissed someone ourselves, instead of living through our protagonists?
Fuck, this post was supposed to be about how I should stop procrastinating; now I’m just thinking about sex in the springtime…weird, since it’s like 0 degrees outside right now, and there’s still snow on the ground (I live in Canada, where polar bears roam freely through the streets; just this morning, I had to lure a moose out of my backyard with a bottle of maple syrup).
So, what do you do when you’re procrastinating? Do you enjoy the experience, or do you immediately get down to business?