I'm actually 90% done with my first lengthy piece of fiction since many a year. And it seems the farther I get, the harder its becoming. Right now, every word has to be pushed onto the page. I know a good 65% of those words need to be replaced, but I've committed to finishing this piece and doing at least 1 draft before I can move onto something else. But, by God, this has gotten difficult. The first 3/4 went by in a breeze- I had a good handle on the characters, the dialogue was flowing, the action set the right tone. But now its just a labor. My damnable brain doesn't help, of course. I've got major revisions in mind- why don't I just go back and rewrite this, or change this. Argh! But I realize the only way I'll get ANYTHING written is to stick through it, all the way.
I'm sure this happens to others- right?
Why can't writing be easy and enjoyable- like drinking beer!
April 19th, 2006, 12:59 PM
The answer to your question is: Yes!
April 19th, 2006, 01:20 PM
Absolutely yes! See, for example,
Poor Winnie hasn't budged for two months and I think about her every night before I go to sleep. She's pissed; I know it but I can't seem to get back to where she needs me to be. I keep writing other stuff.
April 19th, 2006, 01:42 PM
Aren't you drunk on words?
I've encountered this (re)writing the Tao-te Ching. It happens to say in Verse 64: "People usually fail near the end."
I had to force my way through the latter half of it.
April 19th, 2006, 09:19 PM
i don't like to use him as an example but:
Tolkien wrote lotr at least half a dozen times and each time he lost the plot he when back and started from scratch.
For me this helped but its not always for everyone.
Try taking a break from it, go back and edit edit edit, on the way plot points may change or not but there's a good chance that you could rekindle your enjoyment or find the thread that you want to pull on.
Endings can be very hard because its the climax you've built up to and you have to make it worthy of the build up, everyone gets that difficulty. You should just relax and let it work its way out, its not the end of the world if it doesn't feel right first time round 'cause you can change that later if you like.
If you let the stress build up then it will kill you, remember all you're doing is writing something you enjoy. You're not writing a bestseller yet, not looking to get published or anything like that, for now all you're doing is finishing something you love and enjoy doing.
relax and do it, tomorrow (when you've done the book) your life will continue, you could very easily be getting hung up inside (without realising it) on the idea of what will follow the finished piece or that you are finishing something you enjoy.
Just remember, for now its yours and yours alone and the only person it has to satisfy is you.
(hope i don't sound too preachy)
April 20th, 2006, 09:38 AM
I refer you again to Patricia Wrede and her friends scale of novel writing which goes:
Level 1 -- the book
Level 2 -- the stupid book
Level 3 -- the damn book
Levels 4-6 -- the unprintable curses book
So you're up there on the high levels, which is not unusual as you get toward the end of a piece. You may be having trouble because you are working on the ending, but there are major overhaul efforts that need to be made on the rest of the ms. to create that ending. Since you are 90% through the first draft, you don't necessarily need to complete the first draft before moving to revision, and in your case, revising may then make it easier to write the draft of the ending. You could try outlining the ending, with fragments of dialogue and text you might want to put in, which would perhaps satisfy your need to complete, and then go back and start working on the second draft. Once you get back to the ending, you may have changed things and the ending may fall more into place.
You also may be carbo-loading because it's the ending -- trying to do writing and editing at the same time because the ending is important -- and this has blocked up the flow. You may need to kick the editor's hat off your head and give yourself permission for the ending parts to be fragmentary and a mess in draft.
April 21st, 2006, 11:27 PM
Endings are as difficult as beginnings sometimes. I tend to shy away from, though not every time, lengthy anteclimactic narrative. But when does a story end? Does one really have to tie up all the loose ends?
I tend to figure on multiple rewrites. (Sometimes I multi-revise.) I know there are people who say they can write it right the first time, that isn't me. It does take some of the pressure off because I know I will put it away for a time, anywhere from a few days to a few years, and then pull it out, read it, have a good laugh, try to decide whether I'm a genius, or an idiot, write notes all over the pages and write it all again. If nothing else, it keeps me out of trouble.
If I'm really stuck I put in "And they all died suddenly. The bad guys win." --and consider revision tomorrow.