Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The end in close distance: why I hate writing (novels)

Yes, I know, another moan, sorry. If it's too much, feel free to click the little cross to the upper right. That'll do nicely.
But I have to rant. As you can see from the title of this post it's about writing. Novel writing to be precise.
I know I've said I love to write and I do, but I have those moment when I don't. At all. A novel always starts with an idea, something inspired me, pops up in my head and I see the story building. Slowly, but I can literally feel the emotions, see the film. I love that stage of writing. Don't get me wrong, at that stage is no plotting involved, just a floating theme, but it's enough to open that Word document and start to type. I love the stage when the characters develop, when they come to life and surprise me. I love the challenge the genre/POV pose to me. All good. But then, I start to struggle. The reason being is that I just can't plot. I can't sit down and outline a novel from start to finish. I've tried. I've tried so many times, but I failed. Four novels and none of them was outlined. Well, the fourth novel is what gives me the biggest headache.
I've noticed a pattern, though: it's the last 10k that give me grief. Always. I normally know the ending and I have already written 70k. I always aim at 80k. Plus/minus, you know? Proper full length novel. But then I have to connect the two bits. Since I have a clear ending already when I start, there's no way I'd change it. The ending stands and I need to work towards it, tying loose ends and make it exciting on top of it.
In this case, I've written the ending months ago and had a vision on how to get there. Somehow, it had come differently than I've anticipated. My characters wouldn't have it. Me reigning them in, that is. And for the past few days I've been spitting fire, cried blood. I've whined and moaned and started to hate the book. Hate it with so much passion, I wanted to hand it over to someone to finish it. I mean it. But I can't give up either. It's a massive pickle. I'm becoming increasingly aggressive, eat far to much to stuff the anger and frustration down my throat and force myself to write.
Nothing can console me, nothing helps; not the wonderful feedback I get from the beta readers saying it's a page turner, that they can't wait to read the ending; not the satisfaction that I've already made it almost towards the end, which I didn't even think I'd manage; I don't want advice, because nothing anyone says can help me to love the book again. Not for now, at least. I don't want to step away from it, I don't want to leave the house and meet people, the book won't leave me alone anyway. I don't want to write something else, either. I just want this fucking bastard of a novel to be finished! My trouble is that I have already other stories banging on the door, demanding their way out and I would love to start on them right now. But I can't. I have to stay focussed until this baby is finished, then go back and edit.
Yes, that's pain for you.
Only when I hand it over to my proof reader, I sigh with relief, open a new Word document and begin to bleed the next story. It'll only be matter of time until I reach the hate-state again.

That's for all of you out there, who can remotely relate. 

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