Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cautious Optimism

Posted by Jennifer B. at The Writing Cocoon.
I think I may be back in the swing of things. Yesterday I decided it was time to get back on schedule with my novel writing and opened up my novel document on my computer.  I reread my last scene to get back into the story, but I found myself just staring at the screen.  I didn’t want to write anything. I was bored.

Actually, even when I was last writing daily, I was finding it more and more difficult to stick with my novel.  Novel writing is a marathon, not a sprint, and I was at the halfway point: you are really tired from the effort, but the end still seems so far away as to not even be worth thinking about. The initial momentum imparted from finishing NaNo was wearing thin.

So, I did what anyone trying to procrastinate in these modern days does: I clicked on my browser. Before anyone gets down on me for falling prey to such a simple snare, I DID google: “bored with writing my novel.” Hey, at least I was researching (or so I told myself). The results were mostly forum posts from different writer’s forums. I was looking for inspiration, but I would have taken sympathy.

A small sample of my search results:
  1. You’re bored because you’re novel is boring. If you can’t stay interested in what you’re writing, then how can you expect a reader to be entertained. (Eek. First link clicked is a dose of cold reality.)
  2. You’re boring. (Oh man. So far the Internet is failing to lift me from this rut.)
  3. If you’ve written yourself into a corner, you’re bored, or you don’t know what to do next, give a maniac a gun and let them go buck wild. The idea is simply this: shake things up. (Hmm…This one has promise.)
  4. Take ten minutes to brainstorm as many different ideas as possible. Remember, don’t edit, just throw out anything that comes to mind. (Ugh, brainstorming. Why is the answer always “brainstorming?”)
I decided to go with a combination of 3 and 4.  I set a timer for fifteen minutes and wrote as many unexpected crises or twists as I could. Wouldn’t you know it, but it worked. I suddenly had an idea for a minor character to turn on my main character, thereby opening up an opportunity for my MC to go in a new direction. The twist wasn’t even that out-of-left field, but it had me excited again, visualizing the fight scene and dialogue.

I went back to my computer and typed until my fingers cramped. When I was finished for the day, I had effortlessly added 1,942 words. More importantly, I got the MC from A to B and now can start on the next part of my plot.

Finally, after a very rough 3 months, it seems I'm back on the road to writing.

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