What happens when the story is coming out, but you’re not in love with it?
What happens when you’ve got a chunk down, but you don’t care? As in, I’m not bothered if these characters make it or not. I don’t even care what happens next…
That’s not a good sign. If the author isn’t feeling it, how will the reader?
So tomorrow I need to do some thinking. I need to figure out why my characters are feeling flat, why my pacing feels off. Why, I think, my voice is missing.
Because it is. Six novels in, I can tell whether it feels authentic or not, and it doesn’t. I may need to do some deeper character work, some more plot and story work, maybe even start over. I’m not going to write more until I figure out where it has gone off the rails. Because it’s way easier to start over before you hit the twenty thousand mark and watch all those pages hit the bin.
(Yesterday’s word count included a leisurely wander through the village along with traditional Cornish Creme Tea as well as a migraine. 2,961)
Today’s word count included a migraine that didn’t release until after noon. 4,719
10 thoughts on “When it goes wrong”
I’ve been feeling this with my current WIP – started off well, but I’m now struggling. I do have 24,000 words so I’m reluctant to abandon it. Yesterday I spent some time reorganising chapters and can see where there are gaps. So I will carry on. It’s not that I don’t like the characters but I realise they need more depth. Hope your story works out for you. (Love the photos of Looe, by the way. Another lovely part of this country!)
I think spotting the gaps is a huge thing, as is knowing you need to work on depth. I worked out two of those things today and it has helped. I always return to Why. Why is the character acting/doing what they are? That helps a lot with depth.
I’m sure you’ll work through your story issues and it will be great!
(And it truly is beautiful here.)
Good morning sweetie. I am sorry you are having such a struggle. Sometimes it is better, as you say, to re-think. It is always difficult when you feel pressured and maybe because you have set aside this time to write. Perhaps your writing mind just needs space. Go enjoy your surroundings and take your time. Your mojo will soon be back…big hugs xx
I take heart from hearing Margaret Atwood say she restarted The Handmaid’s Tale three times before she knew she was on the right track. And, perhaps it’s a sign of growth as a writer when you’re willing to step back and be critical about your work to the point of knowing it simply isn’t working.
Mojo always returns someday! ❤️ hugs back to you.
It’s probably not very nice to say so, but knowing a writer who’s work I admire (and yours is among them) has struggles in the process – knowing that it’s really not as easy as your finished product makes it seem – is heartening to me as I struggle to decide if I can be a real writer since I have huge process struggles. (Clearly long, run-on sentences are among those hurdles. 😉) I hope you work out your challenge and get to finish your story. Great pics, by the way!
I think it’s one of the greatest fallacies of being a writer—that it’s easy, or that stories just pop out beautifully formed.
Writing is Hard. It’s like any craft—you work at it, experiment, find your style and voice, all while writing, writing, writing. And I don’t think you ever stop learning or getting better. And it’s never, ever, perfect.
Having been a fan of yours for many years now, I can safely say you’re a writer. You may not have found your perfect process yet, but you will. You’ve got the words and ability and the desire. ‘Real’ writer? Perish the thought. Just be the writer you want to be. ❤️😁
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What a wonderful compliment. Thank you! Yes, let’s both keep writing and perfection be damned. 😀🙏💖
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Sometimes the hardest thing to do is the best thing… it might be that scrapping it is what needs to be done if all else fails! Or maybe just take a break from it and write something else…Sometimes just the act of walking away for a few days can free up the imagination to push through the bits that we struggle with… Dunno, I am no expert, I literally just wing it!
I used to wing it, but I’ve found that with publishing deadlines I don’t have the time to do a lot of rewriting when I back myself into a corner, so I try had to do some planning ahead and to spot the issues early. I think you’re right, going for a walk can be useful, as can talking out issues with a fellow writer who understands craft and story. Robyn and I hashed out one of the larger problems this morning, and it turned out to be a simple fix. Yay!
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