I have no fear of the blank page. I think it’s exciting to start a work of writing from the very beginning. And, considering that I can already think of my next four novels off the top of my head, I’m not at all worried about writer’s block.
But I think where the true “work” of writing comes in is right about where I’m at with my current novel. When so much has already been written, yet so many things have changed about the story since it started and it’s time to edit, delete and re-write. And for me…deleting out sections that are no longer going to work is massively painful. But, unfortunately it’s necessary.
I’ve always been one of those people who gets excited by reaching certain landmarks. If I’m making a 500 mile trip, there’s something about knowing when you’ve made it 200 miles, or 250, or 300. There’s a sense of accomplishment that gets you through the rest of the drive. As I’m writing, I love reaching 10,000 words in my rough draft, then 20,000, etc. It’s exciting to see the progress. And it’s a horrible feeling to see a thousand words completely removed. It’s like making a pit stop for gas and caffeine and then getting back on the highway and realizing twenty minutes later that you’re heading the wrong way…
My current novel in progress has three main characters. Four if you consider…well…that’s hard to explain but it’ll make sense when you read it. One other character wants to be a main character but sorry, not gonna happen, no matter how much you pout about it.
I thought in the beginning that I had a pretty good idea about the direction everything would take and just how it would end. Umm…wrong. My writing is always character driven and sometimes….well sometimes those characters take you in directions that you didn’t expect. That’s why I never outline what I’m planning to write. What’s the point?
I love the ending of my novel. I’ve already written the last chapter and it was a complete rush to type it in. But, unfortunately, there are other sections that no longer fit with that ending and need to be chopped.
That’s kind of what it feels like. But, if everything stayed on course and went like it was expected to, it wouldn’t be the same story. So I love my characters just a little bit more for taking me on a a little more scenic route than I’d planned. And for getting me all the way to the coast instead of letting me stop at “America’s Largest Ball of Twine”. It’ll all be worth it in the end.
I just want to be able to whine and complain about it for a bit as a way to stall before I use that delete key and start re-writing. Then, I’ll be curious to see if my first readers like the direction I take them. Or if they’ll be back seat drivers and simply ask “Are you sure you’re going the right way…?”