Let’s not talk about the novel

Ah, the novel…

A lovely blogging friend  commented on my absence from blogging/twitter etc. last month, saying that I was ‘probably busy writing.’ I wish that were true. Well, I suppose I was writing a bit, but I’ve barely touched the novel in over a month.

Friends have asked about it and I’ve started to say ‘let’s not talk about it,’ because, well, there’s nothing new to tell – not really. However, I promised to update you and haven’t done since December so it’s about time I came clean…

Since December, I have barely added to the 10,000 words I had written during NaNoWriMo. Yes, I’m disappointed with myself. I had intended to write a certain amount of words every week and it fell by the wayside. I’ve been taking on a little too much lately (not all of it necessary, perhaps I was diverting my attention deliberately…) and something had to give. The novel was the first thing I stopped. It was stalling anyway, I was starting to wonder what my characters were doing and feeling a little distant from them. I thought that taking a break from the story might help. I’m still not sure whether it has.

After about a month, I returned to my initial draft and re-read it. The first couple of thousand words are ok, I think. Then the story seems to wander off, away from what I originally wanted it to say. I’m not sure whether I’m writing two novels or if I’ve just lost sight of what the novel is supposed to be about. I still will write it, but what I have here isn’t it. On the advice of a friend, I won’t trash it, just in case. I will, however, take the first part – the part I’m happy with – and start the story again from here. Continuing where I left off is a bad idea, I feel, as it would be too easy to meander back into the irrelevant story and get frustrated with where it’s going.

So – that’s where I’m at. Starting over. I will be revisiting and reviewing my original plot outline to make into something tighter, more likely to help me stay on track, and then I’ll start over. I don’t know how much I’ll write each week but I will definitely take a blogging break again as soon as I find my ‘flow,’ to make sure I don’t lose the momentum this time. I’ll be sure to let you know how it’s going as soon as there is anything to report! In the meantime, let’s just not talk about it 😉

Are any of you working on a big project at the moment? If so, how’s it going? What do you do when you find it stalls or goes in a direction you’re not happy with? Please share your advice and experiences below!

7 responses to “Let’s not talk about the novel

  1. Well, I have been spending the past three years, working on a series of stories, using role play on a chat site, and for the past…eight months, my main character has been frozen, due to other posters real lives taking them from their online time. Frustration in words I cannot describe, but I have since moved on and started three new series, all different genres, to keep my writing flowing. One day though, I hope to get back to my original set of stories, but that could be another eight months.

  2. I definitely can relate to your expeience, Rachael. Not an easy part, yes, I know. But we must keep going. Modifications come along the way. Joyce Carol Oates said she spends 10% of her time writing and 90% revising, so don’t trash yours.

    On a lighter note, I found some useful suggestions in Writer’s Digest, have you tried to look upon their website?

    Here’s a sample: http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/how-to-develop-any-idea-into-a-great-story

    Take care and keep crafting brilliance! 🙂 Many blessings and much love to you

  3. Hi friend! Well, I hear you about procrastinating. I said to my mom recently I think it is human nature… I am working on a poetry book and do make myself spend at least half an hour each morning on it. Sometimes I only write a few words or just resort piles. But hey it’s a little bit of progress. Set aside a chunk of time on a regular basis to write and I think it will become a routine. ((Hugs))

    • Hi Christy! I think the challenge is that I can only do all my writing while my son sleeps and I tend to do work I’ve brought home, then commissioned work, then my blogs, then anything else… I need to change the order I think… Or try to take on less, or both! Hmmmm. Anyway, I’ve started with the plot outline, which is helping already. The original was so vague, I now realise! It’s all a learning process… Thanks for reading and sharing your advice 🙂

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