September 16, 2010

The Next Page

You know that part in writing when you have a plan mapped out but you're not sure HOW you're going to get there?  When you're partway in the story and writing is kind of like watching the next scene in a movie because you don't know what's going to happen?

That's where I'm at right now.  And it's fun.  Something I haven't felt in a while.  My actual writing feels pretty lame but the story is fun.  I'll have to go back and tinker with wordage later but I'm trying not to overthink it too much and keep myself focused on the story.

This is where I usually start to fade.  Halfway into the manuscript, I freeze.  I know, of course, that the middle is hard.  I've read plenty of blogs/books on that subject; but for me it's more about feeling like my words aren't pretty enough, or the story is not original enough.  I don't want to think that way this time.  I just want to enjoy the process of writing it.  And due to my new resolution, I'm making myself push through.

I seem to always assume others struggle where I do; but that's probably NOT an accurate assessment. ;)  So I'm curious, what's the hardest part of writing a story for you?


  1. Catherine... seriously... are we sharing a brain??? :D The hardest part for me seems to come in the second or third draft. When I start asking myself: Is this the best I can do? The answer is always no and so I always end up tossing the book and starting a new one. (I just did this. Last week.) Finally, though, I think I had a revelation about how this is the worst question to ask because I will always be growing and improving as a writer and so technically it will never be my best, but it might still be damn good. So. New resolution: Stop asking that question!

  2. I don't write stories. I do, however, write. I find that my most real and most powerful writing comes in the times that I just pour it all out. No stopping to think about each word I've written allowed. Sure I go back and pretty it up when i'm done but not until then. The more i think through it the more forced it sounds.....but that's just me. :)

  3. Organization. I'd much rather just begin a story and have it come out with all the right ups and downs automatically. As of right now I know that doesn't work for me so I'm working on organization, not my greatest strength.

  4. I've so been there. With my last draft I was so excited about the story that the writing suffered because I wanted to get it down so fast. It's fun but makes for a hard edit.

  5. Argh! The ending!! I'm excited to start. I have a crappy, but let's keep it moving middle. Then I get near the end and fall into some kind of anti-creativity abyss. I always have to re-write the endings a gazillion times because they are so inadequate. Just ask Valerie up there - she'll tell you! :-)

  6. This is why I love writing the beginning of a novel. I never know what's coming next. It's exciting. However, I don't think I can trust myself enough to be in the middle of writing a story and not know somewhat of how the story is going to end. Maybe I'll be able to get to that point some day. =)


  7. I agree with Shannon...for me, it's the end! After such a process there's so much riding on a great about pressure! ;-)

    I'm with you on the pushing through thing...I am the same way. I want my words and story to be pretty and I have to tell myself to get it all down, not worry about it, and fix it later.

    Easier said than done, right?

  8. first drafts are easy for me. it's the subsequent drafts that are hard because i have to work things out, find the real story, write lots of false starts that get deleted or rewoven into the story later. and most recently, it's been battle scenes and planning strategy that's slowing me down. i hate it.

  9. Valerie, we're brain twins. :) And I like you're new resolution. lol
    Bttrfly, I agree. I can make it sound forced when I'm trying too hard and not just sharing.
    Bethany, BOY do I agree! I need to be MUCH more organized than I am.
    Patti, I struggle with hurryitis too.
    Shannon, I don't think I've ever "heard" you groan. So endings, huh? Maybe we could make a deal where you write my middles and I write your endings... ;)
    Tessa, no I think having an idea of where you're going is best. Stay with YOUR system.
    Kristi, yes, MUCH easier said than done.
    Michelle, edits are hard for me too. I sometimes tinker the life out of the story.

  10. For me, the beginning is kind of hard...getting the right voice,the right feel so that the book will flow the right way.

    Love the middle.

    But the last quarter of the book requires so much more thought. Did I tie up all of the loose ends I created? Does it make sense? Is the ending too fast? Too slow?


    So, it is probably the end that gives me fits.



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