Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Dispatch From Technology Hell (Alissa Grosso)

This post is coming to you a day late because I've been busy fighting some technology demons this week. It's crazy how one little problem can consume you and throw your whole life out of whack. That's been my experience over the past few days after something went wrong in technology-land that kept me from getting some work done.

It was also a lesson in persistence. Friday it took me the better part of ten hours, but I was eventually able to find something that worked and start to get caught up on the work that I'd meant to begin that morning. My relief was short-lived when I sat down Saturday to finish up that work and found out I was back to square one.

Finally after some scrambling yesterday, I found a workaround that allows me to do what I need to do. It takes too long and I'm already way behind schedule, so I'm not exactly a happy camper. More like a relieved but grumpy camper.

Putting on a brave face in my Happy Camper shirt.

Though none of this has to do with books or writing, it does make me think of my current work in progress. Anyone who writes a novel knows a thing or two about persistence. The current book I'm working on, has, like my technology troubles, tested my persistence.

It actually goes back to fourteen years ago, when I wrote a short story that I shared with a critique group I was then part of. The general consensus was that the story had a good and intriguing start, but the conclusion wasn't working. It needed more.

It was a story that I tucked away but could never quite forget about because something about it kept calling to me. Eventually, I realized the problem was that it wasn't a short story at all, but a novel. So, I wrote that novel. Well, I wrote a novel.

The novel was a mess. It seemed to be going in five different directions at once. What was the point? Why were there so many characters? What was the genre?

Sometimes it's okay, to give up on a novel. It seemed like that might be my best course of action in this case. Alas, the story continued to call to me.

So, I sat down and wrote a new outline. I did my best to simplify things. Less characters. Less storylines. Then over the course of several months I rewrote the novel from the beginning.

It's not done yet. It's still a work in progress, but I feel like I might be getting pretty close to where I need to be with that novel.

Are there easier ways to write novels? For sure. My novel-writing process for this book reminds me a bit of a technology workaround. It's not the most elegant or efficient solution, but at the end of the day it gets the job done, and that makes this writer a happy camper.

Alissa Grosso is the author of the novels Unnamed Roads, Shallow Pond, Ferocity Summer and Popular. She records the weekly Awkward Author vlog and podcast. You can find out more about Alissa and her books, and get a free copy of Popular at alissagrosso.com.


  1. Gah! Electronics! I feel like I spend most of my time watching various devices reboot. I'm glad you're figuring it--and your WIP--out!

    1. I feel like every week brings a new challenge technology-wise!

  2. Tech is a catch-22 at times. I can remember back in the mists of antiquity when gamers used memmaker over and over in an effort to create enough free upper memory so TSR role playing games would run. Today, memory is pretty much unlimited, but there are waay too many new demons to battle tech-wise. Some days, it seems as though my main role in life is to debug my wife's laptop. Anyhow I'm happy you have something new moving toward completion and very much look forward to reading it.

    1. Agree on tech being a catch-22. I'm so thankful for all the things that modern technology allows us to do. And overall I think it's a positive thing in my life, but man, when something goes wrong it can be very frustrating!

  3. Getting the job done: ultimately all that matters! (Although the glitches can be wildly annoying!)

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