OK, it’s almost never a good idea to punch a wall.
There. I’ve said it. Having once been an adolescent male, though, I will admit to having done so a few times. Seriously stupid; especially when dealing with old-fashioned plaster and lathe or brick. All you are asking for is pain and a serious injury.
So why am I talking about this.
Alright, today we’re going to have a “writer’s journey” discussion. As you all may be aware, I have started in on another trilogy, and the premise is solid. Enjoyable. Somewhat novel. I am deeply into the first book in the planned trilogy, I’m hanging out at Chapter Twenty-Seven.
And there I’ve been sitting for about a week. Usually I don’t stop writing until a book is done, then and only then do I take time off.
Well, that’s not been the case this time around. This book has been challenging to write for a couple of reasons.
First, I am building a universe from scratch. But that’s not such a thing, I’ve done this before.
Second, my outline is insufficient. Yeah, it’s a guide, but I simply can’t follow it as usual.
Finally, I think I’m having trouble maintaining tension in the narrative toward the close of Book One. This is not a good place to be when you are supposed to be experiencing an acceleration both as the author and the reader. Instead, I feel dead in the water.
So therefore the “punching walls” theme of this week’s post. My writing at the moment feels nearly as painful and pointless.
I know it’s an illusion. I know it’s BS. But still.
Not so long ago a friend and mentor gave me the sound advice to simply skip over a point in the narrative that you think is holding you up on project completion. He’s probably right, and here pretty soon I may do just that.
But I look at the work as it stands and I think “I can win this. Don’t be a weenie.”
Boy, is it a good thing that I don’t have a real deadline for all of this, or I’d be in a pickle. Now, don’t get me wrong. There kind of is a deadline; I want to launch my Patreon page in November, and this book is the lead-off to the exclusive material that’ll be featured there.
But know this! It hasn’t come without a struggle. I want to produce stuff that doesn’t SUCK. Work that’s readable. Coherent.
Alright, I’ve mapped out the whole trilogy, and I’ve known from the get-go that Book One was going to give me the worst fight. I really hate to be right.
I know that I haven’t adequately explained. I kind of can’t, because the premise is close-hold.
The problem is one of antagonists. In the first book, the enemy is circumstance. In the second book, the enemy is nature of a sort. The third book? Human conflict. The second and third books, I have the antagonists nailed. But in the first book- well, using circumstance as the enemy per se is novel to me. Difficult, challenging. It works, I think, but it involves a bit of thought and care.
So that’s why I’m punching-walls frustrated. Because this has not been easy.
You know what, though?
Tough, I tell my inner wall-puncher. Tough. Deal with it, man-up and grow as an author.
Learn from adversity.
Produce something worthwhile.
That’s one of the few bullet-points of my original plan that has survived contact with the enemy per se.
Make fun, readable stuff.
Way easier said than done. I’ll leave that for you all to judge come November.