False Starts

I admit, my current project is being a little tricky. I’ve started. Stopped. Changed direction. Inserted bits; removed them again. Changed my mind on the overall direction. It’s the first time I’ve faced this kind of restless style of writing and I’m not exactly sure why.

I realise every author has different approaches. With my first novel I sat, wrote and edited as time allowed until I finished it. Over the course of eighteen months, new ideas came to the fore and it progressed into the book that you see today. I suppose I wasn’t sure whether I’d ever complete it at the time, so I indulged the process.

As time has gone on I seem to have adopted the habit of loose outlines. I write a brief overview, a few pages usually, before I start to write the first chapter. I did this with book two and three, and while things do change along the way, little twists in the storyline present themselves and characters suddenly come up with something that surprises me, generally it seems to have worked. But this time I seem to constantly hit a brick wall.

Perhaps the storyline is not quite set in my head yet and needs more thought. Maybe one of the characters isn’t working. My personal life has been super busy this past month or so, which may also have a bearing on things, leaving me little free time to think.

So, I have decided to take a little break from it and spend my free time reading and preparing for my forthcoming trip to Iceland. Maybe some time away from my work in progress will give me the clarity of thought I need to move forward.

Do you have false starts? Do you start a new story and hit a brick wall, or are you having problems with your existing project? I’d love to hear your views. Contact me on Twitter or Facebook, or leave a message here.

4 thoughts on “False Starts

  1. Story of my life. I like to write without a plan, but my last two novel ‘starts’ have hit 20-25,000 words and have hit a brick wall. I want to go back to these, but am thinking I need to draft a chapter by chapter plan first to break through that wall. Easier said than done though.

    • Hi Darren,
      It’s so frustrating, isn’t it? I do start with an overview, but I really can’t bear to do the chapter by chapter breakdown. Thinking a break might help…
      Wishing you all the very best with yours. I’m sure you’ll go back to them. I don’t think any writing is ever wasted, even if it’s just to keep the pen moving!

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