My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to work on my novel this weekend. I’d like to get closer to the end as well as work on some synopsis issues.

The beginning keeps changing and morphing into something completely different from what I had planned, but it’s a good thing. I’m nixing the prologue, adding a new, but important character and introducing the plot catalyst by chapter two (within the first 20-30 pages). That’s one of my issues with published books–sometimes I think it takes too long for the action to start and there’s too much backstory. I realized I was essentially guilty of one of my biggest pet peeves, and even though the plot catalyst was introduced by chatpter 5, that was already past page 40 in Microsoft Word. It took some time to figure out how to introduce it without rushing it, but I think I may have finally come up with a solid beginning.

For me, the beginning of a novel or short story is the HARDEST part to write. You have to catch the reader’s attention and not turn them off. You have to maintain that balance between too much detail and not enough. You have to introduce your main character and establish some sense of connection.

No wonder I often stop reading books within the first 50 pages.

I know, I’m picky about my books (perhaps too picky) but this is everything I’m striving to do because I don’t want to lose the reader by that 50th page and make them shake their head and say, “Where’s that lovely story promised in the synopsis?”

But for now, I have to focus I just ending the blasted thing and then researching, editing and polishing the draft. But it’s so hard not to turn back and work on the other things that bother me in the earlier parts of the book 😛

It would be oh so nice to start querying this year…but wishing and dreaming won’t make it happen. I have to actually do it.

I shake my head in shame at my procrastination 😛

Comments on: "Still Stumbling Along the Novel Path" (6)

  1. I feel like I could have written this post. I’m just finishing up the final edits on my YA novel and finding every reason in the book to procrastinate. I’m also having problems with chapter one and just ditched a prologue that was too long. Now I’m trying to incorporate all of the information from the prologue into the book.

    I found that before I could look back at what I’d written I had to write three pages. That helped a little bit

  2. there is a time and place for everything… once I accept that nugget, while I still get my knickers in a twist, most times I know all is going at the proper pace.

    maybe not the ONE I would choose, but… 🙂 He’s got His own plans…

    and yeah, the beginnings of stories are my most difficult. still want to cram too much in. I just need to breathe…

  3. Hey there,

    My work has recently changed as well. I ended up switching chapters one and two around.

    But in general, I have the exact opposite problem. I find beginnings and endings easy. It’s the middle that drives me nutty. I dislike novels that start out good and then become a maundering mess halfway through. I don’t want to be guilty of that same sin.

  4. victanguera said:

    I chopped the first three chapters from the original draft of my WIP (not to mention huge chunks from the middle) and haven’t even made it to the end. Now I’m thinking of removing a character that had a pivotal role in the first draft.

    Keep going, everything could change by the time you finish anyway. Good luck with the writing.

  5. Sending you writing magic as you work out all the wrinkles. : )

    My story came out whole with this second novel, so it’s only tweaks I’m attending to, but editing is editing when you’re going over your manuscript from page one to page done multiple times.

    It isn’t usually the book/story/plot that gives me issues, but the next step — the query/querying/submissions process — putting my hard work out there and then waiting to hear back, feeling like my hopes and dreams are held hostage by the gatekeepers (agents) of the industry.

    I’m constantly working on reworking that interpretation in order to have the submission process do the least amount of “psychological damage”, although the lessons in patience, perseverance, and faith are worthwhile in their own right.

    P.S. How it that adorable puppy of yours?


  6. I saw that you’re only 24 on Bookends so I had to come on over, since I’m 25. 🙂 Great post! You’re right, the beginning is one of the most important parts of your book! Go you on being willing to change things into something better. 🙂
    Great blog!

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