2016 · February

A Bad Chapter, Not a Bad Novel

Hello, Readers!

Most of you know by now that I have an impending goal that is creeping ever forward in my life. The hubby man set me a challenge of writing that 33,000 word goal by this coming Thursday February 11th. I ended Friday sitting at a high of 20,000 words. I thought oh yeah, all I need is high word counts for the weekend, and I will start the week off with that 33, 000 word count tucked in my bag. As today is Sunday morning, and you won’t see this until Monday, let me tell you now, Saturday’s high word count did not happen.

I wrote. I wrote like I did generally every day, but it wasn’t happening. I found myself discouraged. Not only at not reaching the word count that I was at, but at my writing in general. It seemed force, probably because it was. I had a hard time focusing on what I needed to get down on the paper, and while I have it all plotted out so it should move smoothly, there are day. These days usually consist of something isn’t gelling right to me.

Either the chapter is ringing untrue to my characters, or it steps askew from the gradual build, or I’m simply not feeling it. I’ve learned over the course of writing that I need to pay attention to these cues. It have to ask myself if I’m not writing it because I just don’t ‘feel’ like writing that day or if there is something else going on.

Yesterday was one of those day. I managed to push myself through one chapter on the ‘I don’t feel like writing’ vibe, but the chapter after I wrote 300 words into before I stopped. I couldn’t push it further. A lot of thought went into the why on that one, and it is because the chapter didn’t do what I needed it to do. So, I stopped there. If I would have continued to push myself through that chapter I would have gotten so frustrated with the whole process I would have quit. There are a thousand excuses on why at that point the WIP would have found itself in the discarded pile, but mostly I would tell people I quit feeling the novel. When in fact it wasn’t that at all. It was a bad chapter, not a bad novel.

Today, I will spend the morning fixing my notes for the chapter, and then diving right into it. I will find the work around for it. I know at this point the tension needs to grow, and the plotted chapter actually moved in reverse, so I will examine my notes for further scenes in, and see what I might be able to adjust. After that is solved we will be rolling once again.

Sometimes you can have your novel plotted, and once you start to lay that foundation you’ll find a chapter doesn’t ring true for what you need. Don’t continue to push yourself so hard that you grow frustrated. Take a step back, examine why that is.

As always, L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it) or it isn’t worth it.

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