Novel Writing: Month 11, Chapter 11 – Disappointment

Novel-Writing-Month-11-Image-1November was a month of disappointments. I’m still not finished with Chapter 11. In fact, for the majority of November I didn’t even write very much! (So much for “Let’s write every day in November!” Ha!) I wrote a half-page the first week of November. And managed another full page somewhere in the sparing times I wrote during the month. In fact, I wrote about a page and half on Monday, December 1st which is the most I’ve written in one sitting. It’s a very sad state of affairs here in Kaitlyn’s writing world.

I’ve been trying to figure out what it is that’s preventing me from keeping my writing goals. Have I lost interest in the story? Am I worn out from nearly a year’s worth of writing? Am I just distracted because the holidays are coming up and I’m spending more brainpower on imagining Christmas presents for my relatives? In truth, I don’t know. It could be all of them. It could be none of them. When I really try to pinpoint it, the only thing I can come up with is that I’ve reached a part of the story that is just difficult to write. It requires a lot of backstory I wrote (or should have written) in the previous chapters which also means I have to remember that backstory in order to thread everything together and make it make sense! I’m having a hard time doing that right now. I have lot of little ideas. Little scenes stuck in my head, but I haven’t quite figured out how to connect them all together into a meaningful chapter. Instead, I feel like I’m flailing around in a muck of half-thoughts like larva born on raw and rotting meat. I keep yelling at my thoughts to “Get in line!” and “Keep your head up!” and “One at a time!” although that isn’t doing any good. My head is still a muddled mess.

But I feel like I really accomplished something on December 1st. For the first time, I pulled out my old handwritten journals—my original story—and started reading, notating, bookmarking, and typing out. Quite unfortunately, I found out quickly that I couldn’t just copy verbatim from my book even though Chapter 11 and my original story have a very similar basic premise. It’s an important chapter because it throws my characters into unexpected action and some truths get laid out on the table. However, I found as I was reading the original story that they are VERY different in execution.

I think I like how I’m choosing to unfold the story better now than what I wrote when I was in high school. (And I would hope this would be the case since I should be a more seasoned writer now). I’m just finding it hard to take the time and energy required to really develop the story properly. I feel the time crunch so I want to just gloss over plot points, and that just isn’t feasible. It’s like, because I know where I want to go, I want to skip over the six-hour drive and just be there already even though reality doesn’t work like that. Why can’t I just write all the fun parts? But then again, it makes me think, shouldn’t all of a successful book be enjoyable to read? Who’s going to read a book that’s boring or tedious or just bad in parts in order to jump to the more thrilling parts? This isn’t a DVR where we can just fast-forward through the commercials! I want to make my story, Kamerell, as all engrossing to my readers as it is to me inside my head. I love living in Kamerell in my head, and somehow I need to find the time, patience, and skill to translate that into the written word. It’s not an easy job. But it’s certainly a worthwhile one.

My goal for this upcoming month is simple: finish Chapter 11 and Chapter 12. This will be an interesting accomplishment because then I will have essentially written two chapters in December since November was quite a bust. But I think I can do it. I’m getting those end-of-the-line thrills that help procrastinators write whole term papers in one night. I don’t think I’ll be pulling any all-nighters for the sake of finishing the story, but I’m definitely being more conscious about my time because there isn’t a “next month” to finish it in.

We’re almost to the end!

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