Journal, The Happy Writer

Falling in love again

Writing a novel is a lot like being in a long term relationship. There are days when you wonder if it’s worth it all, and days when you feel like you’re the luckiest person on earth. Sometimes I fight with the story. It wants to go one way, while I want to go another, and in the end we must reach some kind of compromise.

I’ve been at an impasse with my story of late. I’m thick in the midst of the dreaded middle. I thought I’d worked through the problem, and I did make some excellent progress, but here I am stuck again.

In the meantime, I decided to cheat on my novel by spending time on a few shorts, hoping it would sow the seed of inspiration, but though they’ve been fun, I still can’t help but feel guilty about it.

What I realized was that I’d lost interest in the novel I’d set out to write. I’d gotten so focused on plot, fulfilling word counts, that I’d forgotten the feeling, the idea, the excitement, that spark, that set this novel into motion.

What I need to do is care again. To let the fire burn through the fear and the doubt. Deadlines are important, they keep me driving forwards at full speed, but my story is telling me to slow down and listen. I wasn’t paying attention before, but I’m listening now.

Why did I start this novel? Oh yes, I remember. I think I’m falling in love again.

12 Comments

  1. “What I realized was that I’d lost interest in the novel I’d set out to write. I’d gotten so focused on plot, fulfilling word counts, that I’d forgotten the feeling, the idea, the excitement, that spark, that set this novel into motion.”

    Yes, exactly! That’s the risk of being a plotter, I think. I *definitely* hit that point with my (now on hold thanks to St. Martin’s) WIP. But this time away from the story is giving me some of that much needed distance to make the heart grow fonder, ya know? So I think when I do get back to it (someday? soon? maybe?) I’ll be ready to rekindle the romance. So to speak. 😉

    Glad you and your lover are rekindling!

    1. Yeah a little distance can be a good thing 🙂

      On the other hand, this would be so much easier if I could just take my novel out on a date, and ply it with wine, food, and chocolate. hehe, unfortunately bribery won’t work.

  2. True love conquers all!

    I hope you’re able to get throug your slump and build some steam toward getting to the really exciting parts at the end! (Isn’t that the part we all really want to write, the ending, with all its excitement and climaxing?)

    1. Wow that sounded kind of dirty. LOL Thanks, and I hope so too! I may cheat and leave this section of the story alone for now. If I write the parts I do know, it may spark more ideas, and then I’ll know what bit goes in the middle.

      1. Sorry! I realized that after I posted it(especially in the context of the “falling in love” metaphor), but by then it was too late. I thought about adding a comment to say I didn’t mean it that way, but decided against calling attention to the unintended inuendo (if I called attention to it, I figured, there’s no way it wouldn’t sound dirty).

        Then again, the dirty interpretation makes me sound wittier than I was intending to be (or am, for that matter).

        I assume you have editing powers (as I do on comments on my blog – a power I rarely use), so feel free to edit out the dirty bits!

  3. Jesse O. Walls

    I find, as a writer, that sometimes it is easy to get lost in trying to finish a project and forget what exactly I started writing for. I have started many projects with such excitement and fervor and then let it dwindle down to deadlines, wanting to finish it by a certain time for what ever reason (or find myself writing just becuase I feel I should be, and not becuase I feel the words I am writing), and in the end I lose sight of that light at the end of the tunnel. I let the flame burn out and then I am left groping around in the dark, trying to find what I had orginally wanted to write. Once we lose that feeling and sight of our original inspiration, writing becomes mechanical and writer’s blocks seem to abound. It’s like a singer trying to sing a song without feeling it, it doesn’t matter how good of a voice they have, without emotion the song is lacking. We have to keep that ‘love’ for our project if we want it to mature and grow into the beautiful story we want it to be.

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