Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Between the Rock and the Hard Place.

I love writing novels. Like everything else in my life, I can't bear to do small projects. They have to be large endevors that will take me days and weeks and months and years to complete.

With writing in particular, I love stringing out a story, getting to know my characters, giving them space to talk - not just about the deeper matters of the universe, but about Star Wars and ice cream too- stringing out a complicated plot, writing detailed descriptions, and using every creative muscle I have to make my reader care about and understand my characters the way I do.

The problem is, there is always a point in writing a novel when I stop, stare at it, and start questioning whether it is really working. This is usually between the half-way and three-quarters point, which I find the hardest part of the book. A significant portion is already written, which means there is a great deal to live up to, stay consistant with, and remember - but the final action of the climax has not yet happened. As an author, I have to keep building towards the climax, but I can't write something that might upstage the climax. It's sort of like being between the proverbial rock and the hard place.

I'm torn between wanting to go back and whip the existing chapters into shape and wanting to press forwards and get the entire first draft completed. And it's hard to know what to do.

So what is my plan of action? (I rather hate those words, now that I come to think of it, but one must plan action if one is to accomplish something)

I believe I'm going to press onwards and get the book written. I may fuss around with my last chapter and rewrite it for the third time- or I may not. I'm at 200 pages now, with a goal of reaching at least 300. I've got to get about two or three more chapters out before I hit the climax. The good thing is that I know exactly what is going to go into those chapters. The climax was the best plotted part of the book. My hope is that once I get these final 100 pages written, it will give me new direction, focus and encouragement to go back and restructure/edit the middle of the book.

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