You’ll never hear us say writing is easy around the My Book Therapy campus. No siree, Bob.
Writing is hard. It’s work. Here’s what gets me. I have a great idea, I see it all—beginning, middle and end, then I sit down to write and my inspiration vanishes.
The story feels too slow. Too muddy. Too awkward. The things I thought the protagonist wanted now don’t work. Or seem trite. I can’t find the layers. Everyone sounds like Gumby and Pokey.
After sixteen books, the pit of despair in the middle of my stomach isn’t as deep, isn’t as fierce.
But still, about 30K into a book with a deadline looming, I’m wondering how this book is going to pull together.
In the end, they always do. Yay, God.
I tell myself I’m going to do something different next time. But short of hiring someone else to write the book for me, nothing about my processes will really change.
What needs to change is me.
I have to be willing to face the plot and character stumbling blocks. Be willing to tumble into the pitfalls and see what I can do to climb out
Writing a novel is like working a puzzle. You have to find the pieces, or rather make up the pieces, that make the novel work.
Did you know there is no right way to write a novel. There’s not. Really. Here at My Book Therapy we offer you tools to help you get started. To help you build a firm foundation.
But once the writing starts you are going to find shallow and hollow places. Or that an intended idea doesn’t work at all.
For me, I often start seeing all the sides to a story and I can’t figure which way to go. Or I’ll start seeing symbols, feeling metaphors and I wonder how to wind them into the story. Or if I should.
Here’s some tips – in nor particular order — on how to persevere in the writing process.
- Start with a good foundation. Even if you’re a panster at least write a synopsis. Have a beginning, middle and end.
- Grab your Book Buddy and plan out some of the character traits. I love the Book Buddy when I’m stuck too. It’s a great brainstorm buddy.
- Change up your writing environment. Maybe write with pen and paper for awhile.
- Watch a movie.
- Read a book.
- Pray! I find God breaks in and encourages my heart when I press into Him for help. Even if He doesn’t give me something tangible for the story, I know He’s with me.
- Write anyway! I called a friend one day and said, “Remind me it’s okay to write crappy in the first draft.” She assured me it was.
- Get quiet. Turn off all the noise. Shut down the internet. Fix your attention on the blank page, picture your protagonist. What’s going on? What is he or she feeling? Write. Then write the next line. And the one after that…
You will get through the hard parts. Trust me. Don’t start rewriting from the beginning or second guessing yourself. Just keep writing forward and let the characters and story open up to you!
Best-selling, award-winning author Rachel Hauck loves a great story. She excels in seeing the deeper layers of a story. With a love for teaching and mentoring, Rachel comes alongside writers to help them craft their novel. A worship leader, board member of ACFW and popular writing teacher, Rachel is the author of over 15 novels. She lives in Florida with her husband and her dog, Lola. Contact her at: Rachel@mybooktherapy.com.