Yesterday, I sat here at my computer and worked on my manuscript, off and on, for pretty much the entire day. But for all the time I put in, my word and page count total at the end of the day was less than it has been for previous days when I spent far less time at it. I hadn't made much progress. I felt like it was bogging down. So, before closing out for the day, I went back to that dreaded first scene and started reading from the beginning. I read the entire first chapter. Something was missing--the same something that's bugged me every time I've looked at it. I scrolled to the beginning again and started reading yet another time. When I reached page 2, it hit me--the reason why my hero and heroine seemed so flat and boring. I'd left out their voices, their quirks, their PERSONALITIES!
By the time I had this little epiphany, it was near midnight but suddenly I was jazzed. So I went back to the beginning a third time. This time around, it was like the fog had been wiped from my reading glasses and I could see clearly at last. I added phrases and entire lines as I read, and it all started clicking into place. I laughed out loud a couple of times. Yes, it was working now. These two characters had always been memorable because they ARE characters and now they were being true to themselves and the rest of the story. I was giving them back their personalities, their VOICES!
It was late and I was tired, but nothing could have pried me away from this keyboard. I worked through the entire first chapter. By the time I finished, I'd added just shy of 300 words and it was nearly 3:00 in the morning.
In closing, I have to say, I think there's a point in all of this somewhere. Why, oh why, can I never see the forest for the trees? Will this blind spot continue for as long as I continue to write? It's a scary thought. But I think I'm getting better. This time it only took about a month for me to work through the problem. In the past, I probably would have said, "This isn't working, therefore it's crap," and I would have filed it away and moved on to another manuscript. And on and on... Maybe I've finally broken the cycle. Maybe.
Hope you all have a good writing day.