2016 · February

Shiny New Idea Syndrome or Boring Chapter?

Hello, Readers!

Over the last week I have been staring down the barrel of my chapter four. I found that most days I was lucky to push myself through a few hundred words, and others I simply stared at the screen. Now, you will see uttered around many writers circles about the shiny new idea syndrome. The point where you hit between 10-20 thousands words on a document, and you start thinking about other projects. Ones that might be more fun to work on.

At this point I needed to sit back, and seriously contemplate if that is what I was facing. Did have other ideas I wanted to write more? Well no, the reason why I say this is because the idea behind this story is something that has been plaguing my brain for quite some time. It’s one of those ideas that you think will pitter out and die after you let it stew, but it didn’t. Instead it grew into this massive thing in my head. It got to the point where I could tell myself the story almost completely from front to back. That is when I knew it was time to pull it out, and work on it.

Yes, there were still plot holes that needed to be fixed during the plotting stages, and characters needed to be fleshed out more completely. All that work was a given, and will always be, but I had the instinct that it was time for this novel to hit the top of my working list.

That being said, I hit that 10,000 mark and pfft. The whole thing died in my lap. What a cruel world. It seemed to scream in the final stages. Now, normally this was the point where I cursed worse than a sailor, and tossed the whole thing out. We are talking weeks of work here with the plotting, discussing, and writing. Still, if the idea wasn’t going to work it wasn’t going to work. I contemplated shelving the whole thing.

No more days of endlessly staring at the screen going, I do not want to continue writing this. It’s boring. I wouldn’t even feel bad if the villain walked into the room, and killed the whole lot of them. Ah…now it was starting to make more sense.

If I find myself rooting for the villain to end the book so early on, than I know I have a problem. It wasn’t a shelving issue, or a shiny new syndrome – no, it was a boring chapter. I had sat down two days ago to write this chapter. Word count. I needed word count. It had been days since I focused, and it was the beginning of a new month. Still, I ended the last on a low note. I hadn’t reached my goals.

So, I sat, and I wrote. Words hit the page in a complete mess of spinning my wheels in mud. It’s all so painfully obvious now. It wasn’t that I wanted to move on to a new project, or that I lost faith in this one. I needed to trash the chapter and restart it. Any author will tell you that sometimes that happens. We misplace where I focus should be due to whatever reasons we concoct, and then we are left staring at the remains of what should have been finished.

By this point the remnants of that chapter were a smoldering pile of sh…well, you get the picture. It was horrible. Not only was I bored writing the thing, I was almost sure readers would think gouging out their own eyes with a spoon sounded like more fun in that moment.

How am I going to fix it? I’m going to throw out almost 1,200 words and start fresh on the chapter. That will fix it.

For those writers that started convulsing in their chair screaming, ‘Don’t throw it out’, rest assured I never just hit delete on a piece that big. Instead it gets shifted into a separate file for the document. Sometimes I find that the way I fix something isn’t such a good idea, and I wish I had the other piece back, other times…well I’m glad I did it.

So, now that I have finally solved my issue it’s time to give this another go.

L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it) my friends. Until next time.

3 thoughts on “Shiny New Idea Syndrome or Boring Chapter?

  1. I was I the same boat. I pulled out a piece I started last year that is about half written. As I began to read it was a hot mess and i spent and entire week trying to fix a chapter that seemed repetitive of the next. Good luck!

    1. Thanks, Cat. Yes, sometimes we have to weigh in on rather a chapter is really a necessity even after we spent an entire day writing it. That has to be the hardest thing for me. To take a few thousand words out of a book I’m working can irk me sometimes, but in the end it’s always the best decision for the book that wins out.

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