The Half Way Point

Powering through the muddle and losing.

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We’re a bit past half through November and let’s not mention the lack of winter in Texas. The important thing to remember is that NaNoWriMo is half way done . . . and that is terrifying.

While I have reached my daily goal since day one, I find my story to be lacking. While I have the overall story planned, all the bits in between aren’t exactly there.

I’ve always been someone who plans some of the story before writing and someone who makes things up along the way. The problem with that is I underestimated the second book in the series. While Clan of Blood is its own book, it’s also part of a larger story. This is why I feel I should have planned out the story a bit more.

Now, there’s no use in regretting what wasn’t done. That’s not going to get me anywhere. It’s definitely a lesson I’ve learned.

As of now, the middle is slowing me down. I’m not bored, not at all, but I don’t know how to continue the main story. The subplots are there but I don’t want to derail the story and focus only on the subplots. Even though I know that subplots should feed into the main story, and I know how the subplots in Clan of Blood connect to everything else, for some reason, I’m having trouble putting it all in words. It’s like I forgot how to use words or something.

While my idea map has helped put everything into a diagram of sorts, I haven’t quite been able to plan ahead. I’m probably making this into a big deal because the editing part of my brain isn’t quite shut off. However, in the long run, it’ll be good for me to be aware that a lot of the story has to change in the edit. Clan of Ash, the first book, went through tons of edits too but unlike that time, there wasn’t a lot of pressure. Now, I feel like there is.

But it’s not like I can quit. I don’t want all that work and effort to go to waste. Plus, I need to write the second book. I love the story and the characters. I’m just afraid that I won’t do them justice. It’s just one of the many fears I have when it comes to writing in general. The idea seems so cool but the execution isn’t all there.

There’s so much doubt but I know I can get through this. I’ve struggled before and pulled through. For the moment, I’ll focus more on the scenes than the story as a whole. I won’t be abandoning the story. I’ll concentrate on the smaller parts that make up the story and try to connect them. Writing this, the ending is becoming a bit clearer. However, I don’t think that I’ll be able to fully finish the story in just 50k words.

As I type this post, the idea of just skipping everything and focusing on the main points seems better and better. If it comes down to it, I might just take that route. Or, I might not. It depends on how far I can go with what I have planned out.

*takes a deep breath* Don’t worry about being perfect. Just write.

Second Book Doubts

Now that I’m writing the second book of my Half-Blood Series, I have somehow reverted back to the first time I ever wrote. I feel like I don’t know what I am doing. For the most part, I have outlined and know the basic idea of where I want this story to go. Yet, every time I write a sentence or two, I want to erase it and start over again. Is this a common problem? Is it just my mentality?

Before I mentioned that I like to hand write my stories because it allows me to edit multiple times and I am able to get all my ideas on paper even if I have to write the same scene differently. However, one of the problems I’m facing is that I don’t know what to write. Is it safe to assume that this is plot problem? I’m not so sure. I think it has to do with the fact that I want the second book to be perfect. I’m not treating it like a book in and of itself. In my head, I’m treating it as part of a series – which it is – but I need to think about it as its own stand alone story.

I know all of this and yet, it hasn’t gotten any easier. It doesn’t help that I keep editing some other chapters and focusing on something else. It’s a vicious cycle that I have fallen in. I’m also sure that it’s 100% my fault. If I really think about it, I think I just want to create a perfect book which is completely unrealistic. Some part of my brain wants to create a masterpiece that doesn’t need to be edited or revised. Yeah, that’s not going to happen and yet here I am.

I keep coming back to this. What if I am not prepared? Not mentally of course. I meant that what if my plot isn’t constructed very well? Could the story actually be lacking? My doubts are just getting used as an excuse to not write. Honestly, I think it is a bit of both. It’s my mentality and my plotting could use a little work. I didn’t think I would say this but I think I need to not care.

So what if my scenes don’t go together at first? Or that my description and setting are lacking? I shouldn’t be afraid of going back to the drawing board or starting over. I have started over many times with other stories and this time it shouldn’t be any different. After all, the first draft should never be perfect. That’s why we have editing and revising.