the wall

20140519_124007If you’ve read my last few posts then you’ll know I’ve set myself a challenge to write 20,000 words of my novel this month. I don’t have much time to write, so it does feel like quite a big target to hit, but it has been going well. Or perhaps I should say it HAD been going well. By last Thursday we were half way through the month and had written 10,000 words. By the time I shut my laptop last night I’d written just under 13,000 in total. Good going.

But today I feel like I’ve hit the wall. I’m suddenly struggling with one of my characters – she’s a nineteen year old girl and I can’t get a handle on her personality at all and it’s bugging me. She’s not a main character, in fact she’s rather in the shadow of her mum, dads (the ‘s’ is deliberate) and brothers but I feel like if I make a shoddy job with her it’s going to undermine the reality of the book. Particularly as it’s a book that deals with alternative realities that is a huge problem. If the realities aren’t believable it all falls apart!

Then, as I’ve started struggling with the character of this teenager I’ve suddenly found myself doubting some of the other characters too. I’ve written a chapter involving one character that I’ve decided needs to be entirely re-worked because that’s not how he would have acted at all. In fact, he was reacting like another of the characters would have done; it’s like their personalties have got all tangled up.

Maybe this is one of the downsides of just throwing myself in to writing and seeing how it goes; I was bound to stumble here and there. I think that what I need is to pause and reflect but feel like I don’t have time. Next week is half term so (with three kids to entertain) my writing time will be even more limited. I’m also away for a few days at the end of the month so that period is going to be, by necessity, entirely writing-free. So I need to crack on if I’m going to write another 7000 words before the end of May!

So do I take the time to pause and work it out and risk not meeting my word target? My fear with doing that is that I could lose my momentum and my progress on my book could really stall…

Or do I push through it and write on regardless? I can sort out that chapter and the elusive teenager at a later date. My fear here is that I’ll meet the target but end up having to throw huge chunks of writing away anyway…

Hmmm. I guess that the whole point of setting myself this challenge is that I can learn from it. So I suppose I should push on and see where it gets me. Nothing ventured, nothing gained… I think?

7 thoughts on “the wall

  1. Maddy Post author

    Thanks Stephanie, I think I’ll give it another bash later and see what I can achieve. Thanks for the link too – looks interesting, I’ll have more of a read later when I get the chance! x

    Reply
  2. Sarah

    Ditto on the above. You’ll be your worst critic, naturally, and if you start doubting and editing at this point, you may stop! Give those characters a sharp talking to and tell them to behave or they’ll be out. Onwards and upwards….x

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Sarah! Yes, I just need to ignore the doubts and keep writing… it’s just right now my brain has ground to a halt. Argh. xx

      Reply
  3. Sadie Hanson

    I reckon push through…. your characters will beginning revealing more of themselves as you continue; it can take a while – several edits or so – to really get a handle on who they are – I didn’t know my main protagonist properly until the end of my first draft, and then began rewriting her differently in the redraft – she had also done things totally out of character that needed erasing – but it’s in writing the stuff we don’t like we get to see who they are….. so it’s all good and a necessary part of the process.

    Reply
  4. Mummy Plum

    Just popped over and have been catching up on your creative writing project. How exciting – and a hearty pat on the back too, I know how hard it is to carve out the time. I’m not really in a position to give any advice as I have only unfinished drafts of various things but my gut reaction would be to push on through with regards to your character. I think the first draft is all about just getting to the end really – a major feat in itself. You can always keep a separate notes page as things come into your head for important points to add/ omit in the 2nd draft. Keep going! x

    Reply

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