This has been a tough writing week.
I’ve reached the midpoint of the story for one of my main characters, and I’ve been looking forward to writing these scenes. This part of the book is set at Hillside, an outdoor music festival held every summer in my hometown of Guelph. It’s a great setting and I want these scenes to be vivid, exciting and dramatic.
Instead, they feel flat. Uninspired. Cliché, even. I type a few lines, then erase them. I’ve gone back to previous versions of the scene and mined these for usable material, but I’m struggling to fit it all together in a way that moves the story forward.
It gets worse: my difficulty with these scenes is making me question the big picture. Maybe I’m having a hard time because this character isn’t plausible. Maybe none of the plot is working and I’m just realizing that now. Maybe this whole book is an awful mistake.
These are not helpful thoughts.
This whole project requires that I sustain confidence in my ideas, my plot and my characters, as well as in my ability to write this story. When my confidence gets shaky, the whole venture starts to seem insane. Who am I to think I can write a novel? I’ve never done this before!
I’m not about to give up on this draft just yet; I keep reminding myself that many of these scenes are just shitty first drafts which I can revise and rework or even delete if necessary if they aren’t working. “How bad can this be?” I ask myself.
I guess we’ll find out!
I’ve made a deal with myself: don’t look back. Move forward. Follow the outline; write as well as you can, but try to maintain the momentum even when it feels like it’s not going well. Once this draft is done, I can be critical. For now, it’s full steam ahead.