Writing is hard man… Imagine you come up with this idea and it’s precious and small and you just want to take care of it. You want to feed it until it becomes a fully fleshed out plot line and spend hours writing the idea. But the world is a harsh place, you might find out your idea is already very much so a thing, you might lose your excitement after just a few days or you might just not be able to find the time to write around all the other possibilities of what you can spend your time on. Even if you actually get to sit down and work on your book there are so many other challenges that I need to rant about.
How do you get your little baby idea into a fully fleshed plot??? It seems like as soon as I think I have it figured out a new challenge comes up and the whole plot changes. Characters have been combined, cut and refigured, the setting has changed from a russian like mountain town to an australian bush city… and I am still not sure which I want to go with, the world has changed from the technological level of just getting trains to being highly futuristic with cool techy things, the point of views have changed from two to one to four.
The biggest change is to the plot, there are so many scenes I have written that end up cut, so many sections that I have no idea what to write for, so many things I have nagging in my brain that I need to fix in the plot before I keep writing the story. It makes me a bit angry. I really want this to work, and the longer I work on it the more determined I am to finish it but the further away the end goal seems. How do people write and edit their novels in a year?? I have been working on this project on and off for eight months and I have several unfinished drafts but the plot has changed so drastically that I can barely use any of them… Please someone tell me your secrets.
That’s another thing, I sometimes feel like I know nothing about writing. My plot will never be good enough, my characters will never be vibrant enough, my prose will never touch someone like some author’s do when I read their writing. I feel like I have limited experience, and that’s true because I have never fully edited a novel and the one I am working on now is the only time I have finished a full first draft. And even if so much has changed since then at least I can say that I did it. At the time I remember being incredibly happy.
Despite all the bad, writing is what I do and I know I will keep chipping away at my plot for as long as it takes. All that time I’ve spent shaping the story and crying on my own in the dark over how many changes have taken place that no one will ever know about will make the story so much better. And no one wants to read the original story anyway, it wasn’t meant for people to read, it was meant for me to find a world and set of characters that I wanted to keep writing about and I am lucky enough to have been able to find a story to tell within that. I know where I want the first book to end, but maybe I am too attached to that ending. Maybe I need to let it go and allow the book to unfold as it may. Maybe my two main characters will end up in that little cabin on the mountainside at the end of the book, or maybe they will save that hide away until a later date and my two main characters that are so precious to me will turn into four or five.
The joy of watching your little idea grow into a novel is amazing, and all the struggles along the way seem worth it when you’re typing away and things are falling into place. So what if you don’t think it’s up to standard with some published books out there, every good book is different and unique so if yours was too similar to another book there would be a problem. Honestly whenever I am reviewing books and they are really good ones and I try to recommend similar books I struggle, they are good because they are different. Some examples of this include The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, Red Rising by Pierce Brown etc. SUPER original. As long as you are able to write in a way that makes sense to people when they read it and gives all the necessary information then no one really cares what you do. And if it really matters to you that your writing is ‘correct’ and the prose is nice then remember you can always go back later and change things. You can edit the prose easily, but first you have to work on having a draft that is up to your standards plot wise, character wise and setting wise so you can actually do those edits.