Taking a Breather

I’m procrastinating.  I’ve come to a big turning point in my novel in progress and I’m doing everything else I can think of today except write–which accounts for the sudden urge to post something in this diary.

Everything about writing a novel is demanding, but some things are harder than others.  Hands down, the most difficult part for me is the opening chapter, because I don’t know the characters all that well, and I don’t yet feel as if I live in their house, in their town, in their era.

As a novel progresses there are other places that present a similar challenge. I’ve written and revised into marketable quality more than 350 pages of the book, but I have now reached the point where my main character has just arrived in a new city with an entirely new set of characters, and furthermore, by the end of this chapter, I’ll be jumping forward in time 5 years and she’ll go to another new town with another new set of characters.  It’s almost like starting from scratch except that I know my protagonist now, and all I have to do is supply the people and the situation, and she’ll take over and tell my fingers what to type.

All I have to do?  Sounds like a lot to me. Even minor characters need names, personalities and motivations, and places need to be thoroughly imagined–although fortunately, I learned recently, readers don’t necessarily want detailed physical descriptions of every last person and place because they prefer to imagine for themselves.

Luckily for me, before I left off writing, I made notes for this new section, including the main elements of the plot and the characters I would need to carry the plan out.  I took a look at these notes–less than a page total–and started thinking, “this is going to be good!”  Still, I’ve got the blank page heebie jeebies today, and I’m just going to let them stick around for a while until they get bored and check out of my brain.

it won’t take long for that. It’s an exciting world I’m writing about, with a main character I care deeply for.  I can’t wait to see what’s really going to happen.  It’s usually far different and better than the notes, and the only way to find out is to start writing.

Thanks to LonePony@blogspot.com for the cartoon
Thanks to LonePony@blogspot.com for the cartoon