Thursday, April 25, 2013

Why is This So Hard?

I've struggled to finish the final part of my new novel.  This has been especially difficult on me because the first three acts came out so quickly and with almost no stress.  However, in the final act, I've become lethargic and unmotivated in just getting to the end.  As a result, I've had to work very hard to ensure that the quality doesn't suffer and I can provide a satisfying ending.

Maybe part of it is the initial length.  I've written just over 144,000 words in under four months.  It's been an exhausting schedule to keep, and my goal has always been around 2,000 words a day(which gives me leeway to be finished with each act before the end of the month I started it in).  Looking back, it has dawned on me just how extensive 144,000 words really is, and I expect there to be between 10,000 and 12,000 more to go before I'm finished.  And being so lethargic has led me to average barely more than 1,000 words a day right now.

Don't worry - this isn't the final length, which I expect to come in closer to 120,000 once everything is edited, but I intentionally let everything flow freely during the first draft.  That means there are a lot of extraneous words that don't belong, and those will have to be cut.  There are also a number of rambling passages that will have to be rewritten, but I can't let that distract from the creative process in the initial outing.

I think that another reason this one has been more challenging is that it was always the most nebulous of what I'd envisioned.  The first three acts had a definite starting point and ending, so I just had to fill in the middle.  However, Act Four was something I knew I had to figure out a resolution to without knowing what that resolution would be.  Brainstorming in my notebook has been frustrating as I played with various scenarios, each one seeming more unrealistic to me than the last.

However, I think I finally have an ending point, and it has meant that I've written close to the edge of my outline the whole month.  This may allow the writing to be more spontaneous and float off in unexpected directions, but it has also caused me some stress as I got close to the end of the page.

Now that I'm close, I don't think I'm going to hit the original goal of having this done by the end of April.  That's okay, since I always said that the end of May was the drop dead time to be done, and that won't be any problem, but other events are going to intercede this weekend to force at least a few days break before I can pick back up.

When this is done, I'm going to need a break from writing novels.  I don't plan to start my next one until at least the middle of July, mostly because I need to decompress.  My next work won't be anywhere close to as hefty as this one, nor as mentally exhausting(it's more a fun romp through Sci-Fi).  I'll probably write a few short stories during the time, and there are a couple of contests I intend to enter, but full length novels will take a break for a little bit.

Oh, and I might have to take a break for next week.  If I manage the timing right, I'm hoping to make an announcement on Monday as to the reason for the break.  However, there are some things that are more important than blogging, and an event scheduled for this weekend is one of them.  It might involve enough time next week to disrupt the cycle.  But please don't worry - I'll return as soon as I'm able.  I'm hoping that's sometime next week, but I just don't know.
(Can you figure out the reason for my absence?)

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