I am in the middle of a steep learning curve. I have never written anything longer than a 3,500 word short story so I should have expected a few pitfalls when I decided to pursue my dream of writing a book, or two or three. But I was committed to give it one hundred percent and see where the journey led me. I am well on my way to achieving 82,000 (ish) words for a novel-length book and only have 17,000 more to go!
I have been amazed by the process. I have a journal I keep at my side to remind me of what has happened in each paragraph so the story will not seem disjointed or confusing. I have done my best, pre-editing, to make sure the plot line flows well and ties in all the loose ends. I’m sure I have missed a few small details throughout the process but I’m new at this so I’m giving myself ample opportunities to go back and alter the things that don’t work. I have noticed that my characters have taken on a life of their own, causing me to go back and change a few details of their past but so far I feel blessed to have made it this far.
My writing has mainly been directed by the characters. I had a simple outline of where I wanted the book to go but their personalities have taken control of the wheel and taken me in a few directions I hadn’t thought of. On Friday, I wrote a paragraph and then I couldn’t write any more. Something was off. I didn’t know it was wrong when I wrote it, but that one paragraph derailed my train of thought. I stared at that page as the characters sat idly by waiting for me to send them in a direction, any direction, but I was stuck.
I read that last paragraph many times and it eventually dawned on me to remove the last sentence. As soon as that freeway in my brain cleared of the congestion, the traffic of words started to flow and sped off down the road. I now understand how writer’s can figuratively paint themselves into a corner. That one line was the difference between writing and staring at my walls.
Persistence is the key. I have many lines and paragraphs that I have omitted from the book. They are not gone but merely stored on a different page until I know those ideas are not meant for this book. I have no idea where I will end up, but, oh, the places I’ll go on my journey to get there.