Block, Critique, Doubt, Fiction, Novel, Television, Writing

AWAKE, but not writing

Well, I missed a blogging day, but for once, when I had nothing worth saying I didn’t say anything. I also didn’t get much house cleaning done. I did some laundry, repotted a few plants, worked on the sprinkler system in the yard, and organized some craft supplies. I also started reading a NY Times best-selling novel, but the subpar writing and editing makes me question whether I should continue.

What I’d hoped would happen during my writing break hasn’t. Not really. What did occur to me, at one point while my hands were covered in soil, is once again I’ve fallen into the trap of worrying about what others will think of the story in my next novel. Is that why I’m stalled?

I said at the beginning that I wanted to write this novel without any outside input, so I wouldn’t submit chapters to any critique group until they were all written, but it seems I’m critiquing it myself. I’m censoring before I’ve even written it. If only I could write without knowing what I’m writing. *sigh*

Speaking of writing, as I usually am, there’s some good writing on the new NBC series Awake. I’ve blogged before about some of my favorite well-written shows like Treme and Mad Men. This new one promises to be another. The premise of reality vs. dream intrigues me; in fact, I touched on it in a short story I wrote last summer.

Police detective Michael Britten, played by Jason Isaacs, has returned to work after an auto accident with his wife and teen-aged son. The problem is each day he wakes up in one of two “realities”. In one, his son died in the crash, Britten is in department-ordered therapy with a male psychiatrist, and he has a rookie partner at work. In the other, his wife has died, he has a female therapist, and his long-time partner at work.

A further confusion happens when clues from a case in one reality helps him solve his case in the other. Each therapist tells him he’s confusing dream and reality because he hasn’t coped with his loss. Britten doesn’t want their help because he doesn’t want to lose either of his “realities”.

I’m anxious to see how this plays out. When the end credits rolled on the first episode, I said, “Wow!” My husband said, “It was okay.” That’s typical for us. 🙂 Then again, he’s not a writer. If you’re not watching the show, but think it sounds interesting, you can watch full episodes online here:

Awake promo photo ©NBC

22 thoughts on “AWAKE, but not writing”

  1. Ahhh Linda, I feel your pain!!

    I too have edited myself into such a state of confusion that I end up in complete silence.

    I remember I posted about it- “Stop Shouting!” and my group thought I was talking about them, even though I was referring to myself. lol
    We really can cast a whole crew of critiquers in our head that equals a group.

    I told myself to shut it, and then I did.

    Hope you get some quiet soon.

    By the way, I too am enjoying Awake.


    1. I think part of the problem is trying to work on two projects at once, Jennifer. That rarely works well for me. I’m probably not doing justice to either. I feel I’m standing outside my novel, but if I could get immersed in it, I’d see it differently.

      Oh good, maybe we’ll talk about the episodes. I’m hoping they don’t go off the rails at the end like LOST did.


  2. Was interested in your opinion. Half way through The Sanctuary, Raymond Khoury, adventure-thriller and trashed it. After rescuing a minor character thrilling escape the hero goes ahead and shoots him finished him off as now he is liability and expendable. Ruined the good guy. You don’t have the good guy hero act like the amoral bad guys unless it is about how evil corrupts good and evil characters. I lost all interest in what was up to then a great read. It is also my opinion that you don’t kill off the comical character either.


    1. As a rule, Carl, I don’t read adventure novels, but from your description it doesn’t make sense to rescue someone only to kill them, so I can see how that would have ruined the book for you. Especially if the character was comedic. 😉


    1. The only similarity is a choice between two lives, Tricia, except this guy doesn’t really get to choose. I don’t think anyone will compare Awake to Pivot Point. Then again, didn’t Kasie say she was inspired to write PP from the movie Sliding Doors?


  3. We haven’t seen Awake here yet and so I tried to sneak preview following your link. Unfortunately, I shall have to wait for it to arrive in NZ as the clip is available for viewing from my location.
    Anyway, your day away from blogging did produce some results – laundry up to date, sprinkler working, plants repotted – I’d call that an OK day’s work.


    1. Sorry for the tease, Judith. I hope you get to see it there soon.

      Yes, I did accomplish things, just not as many as I’d hoped to. Of course, all the clutter and dust is still here, so …


      1. Having a day here ‘rubber gloving’ so the dust will be moved around again! Am having withdrawal pangs if I am away from the computer for too long.


  4. I, too, love AWAKE and am curious as to the direction these writers will take the show. Did u see Thursday nite’s show? Intriguing new piece of the puzzle got thrown in. So enjoyed the flavor of your words re: the censoring in your own head! I’ve only written a memoir and then a slew of fanciful short stories for family/friends’ birthdays. The noise in my head from a critic, a self-doubter, & an editor who is never satisfied was/is a trip! Then one day while writing the memoir, it came to me that I need only practice what I learned during Mother-sitting: don’t fight..give them a nod of recognition..breathe through the noise. Still practicing…


    1. I did see it, Dody, and I’m a little worried where they’re going to go now. I’d rather not believe the revelation is true.

      Patience, yes. I have so little of that with myself.

      And you know, I’m questioning today why I even listen to that inner critic so much. She’s only me, right? Since when do I know everything? 😉


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