Thursday, February 12, 2009

Growling doesn't get words on the page

For the most part in writing this novel, I haven't hit much writer's block. Even when I couldn't find the inspiration to piece together a chapter, I'd work on backstory or even write a journal entry as the character, to better flesh out who they are and what they are thinking/feeling/wanting. Since starting this book in October, there hasn't been much writer's block and I am eternally grateful for that.

Slowly and after revision and editing, I have been posting the chapters for friends to read. (So far, the feedback has been kind, but if anyone wants to throw some criticism my way too, I can take it. As long as it's constructive, of course.) And for the most part, I have been spacing them out just so I didn't find myself literally writing the following chapter in order to get it up on the blog. That was how I used to write fac fiction and while having a deadline can be helpful, I have felt that this time around, I have to write this entirely for me.

The next chapter to be posted has been agonized and scrutinized over. I have written it FIVE different ways now, not sure how to go about the semi-pivotal scene. Each way had elements that I liked and elements that I didn't care so much for. None of them felt perfect. I have to wonder if there are chapters in books of other authors that they are never entirely pleased with. There has to be, right?

Version one was written awhile ago. Version two was written about a month later. Version three is really just a combination of one and two, but I still wasn't happy with it. Version four I wrote out last night and this morning but still felt it was missing something. So in the end, I have taken all the parts of the four preceding versions to make one ginormous chapter that hopefully captures what I am trying to create.

You get attached to these characters as you write them. You want to do justice by them, to show them in the correct light and give them all the respect they deserve. It's crazy, really. I haven't started talking about them to other people as if they are really in my life, but I think about them just as much as real people.

So after spending nearly the last eight hours on ONE CHAPTER, I am taking a break and going to have dinner with a friend. I'll probably post it later tonight.

Much love to all of you who are patiently waiting for the posting of each chapter and not laughing at me for even attempting this. It doesn't feel as ridiculous to say "I'm writing a novel." as I worried it would feel, but maybe that is because I am not sitting at a Starbucks all day and banking on this novel to actually get published. There are so many steps leading to even attempting to get published and right now, I just want to see the end of the novel.

And, you know, start the next one.

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