The hardest part of the novel

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breathe
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Re: The hardest part of the novel

Post by breathe » September 7th, 2012, 10:45 pm

Beginnings are easy in the first draft because it's fun and flies off the fingers (beginners are harder when going back to revise because I realize how much it sucks and can't get it right and can or should do this or that or this or that instead).
Middles = tricky all the time (steam running out).
Endings are also bumpy, how to tie it up right, or getting to the sluggish "nearing the end" phase (where I realize this may very well all be for naught).

So basically : All of it. :roll:

Lately, I've hit a big crash in everything. Worrying about how to learn all there is to learn when there's not enough time or my mind only operates in 20 minute time spans. Wondering if I'm pursuing the wrong genre and ought to pursue another one instead.
I wonder how people just know what genre to pursue ( i've seen some authors with 2 PB's, an MG series, and multipe YA's. It appears so methodical and organized). I feel like I'm grabbing at pieces of info here or there and not absorbing. I'm writing things but is that my appropriate genre, etc. Man, its like this can take a long time to figure out. I feel like I want a one-on-one teacher to tie me to a chair and tell me what to do and how to do it :? Sorry for the side rant, I've suddenly become overwhelmed with the FEAR (a.k.a. the incessant rumination that I am doing it all wrong, truly have no clue what I'm doing and will never ever do enough and will fail to realize the thing I want most).
Okay, rant over :oops:

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Sanderling
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Re: The hardest part of the novel

Post by Sanderling » September 9th, 2012, 12:21 pm

Shipple - I love the action scenes! Those are my favourites to write; I'm always looking ahead to the next one coming up, and I love every moment of writing them because I get so into the scene. It sounds like you've got the opposite problem from me - I always feel uncertain about the pacing of my slow scenes and worry that they're starting to drag (when I'm feeling particularly negative about the book, I'm convinced the whole thing drags 'cause there're so many slow scenes breaking up all the action). As for beginnings, that sounds just like me. Fiddle, fiddle, fiddle.

breathe - Hee. Yes, I have moments, too, where everything feels hard. I try to push through it, and usually I start feeling better about it after a bit. Writing's definitely not easy, and I totally understand the fear. Here's the thing, though: even if this particular novel turns out to not be "your" genre, that doesn't mean a) you're doing it wrong, or b) it was a waste of time. I wrote an adult high fantasy for my first novel, a MG low fantasy for my second, both third-person with male protagonists. My third novel was first-person female protagonist, YA low fantasy; and it was like I'd finally found my dream partner after dating a bunch of people. It just clicked, and I haven't looked back. But that doesn't mean that either of my first two were a waste. First, all writing is useful; even though I drawered them, they helped me to learn the craft of writing and telling a good story, of developing characters and creating tension. And second, they helped me narrow down what I *did* want to write. Until you've tried something, how will you know if it's the right fit or not? Some people write more broadly than others, have a wider range of genre interests. Incidentally, I think paying attention to your reading tastes helps a lot. The things you gravitate toward reading you'll probably also really enjoy writing. The people who write in a lot of categories/genres probably also like reading in all those.
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LurkingVirologist
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Re: The hardest part of the novel

Post by LurkingVirologist » September 10th, 2012, 2:45 am

I'd have to say the middle 1/3rd - that awkward point after everything has started rolling, but isn't quite on a collision course yet...Ugg. That's the part that I'm always hardest on myself about. Probably because I already have the climactic scenes in mind, and setting them up just doesn't feel as exciting.

I'm with Sanderling, the action scenes are a blast to write. Pun intended. I can come up with creative mayhem all day if I put my mind to it. Also, they can be a great excuse to have normally restrained characters say and do all kinds of crazy things.
"Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic." -Carl Sagan

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dios4vida
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Re: The hardest part of the novel

Post by dios4vida » September 10th, 2012, 12:26 pm

Sanderling wrote:Here's the thing, though: even if this particular novel turns out to not be "your" genre, that doesn't mean a) you're doing it wrong, or b) it was a waste of time. I wrote an adult high fantasy for my first novel, a MG low fantasy for my second, both third-person with male protagonists. My third novel was first-person female protagonist, YA low fantasy; and it was like I'd finally found my dream partner after dating a bunch of people. It just clicked, and I haven't looked back. But that doesn't mean that either of my first two were a waste. First, all writing is useful; even though I drawered them, they helped me to learn the craft of writing and telling a good story, of developing characters and creating tension. And second, they helped me narrow down what I *did* want to write. Until you've tried something, how will you know if it's the right fit or not? Some people write more broadly than others, have a wider range of genre interests. Incidentally, I think paying attention to your reading tastes helps a lot. The things you gravitate toward reading you'll probably also really enjoy writing. The people who write in a lot of categories/genres probably also like reading in all those.
This is awesome advice. :mrgreen:

My action scenes are interesting when it comes to actually writing them - I'll sit down one day and marathon a few thousands words, not necessarily cohesive, of everything I know that happens in my action scene. For instance, right now I have "blah blah threat" <a few hard returns> "blah blah retort" <a few hard returns> "and slice and kick and stab" <hard returns> "you give up?" <hard returns> "never!" <hard returns> "awesome victory and death scene". Basically it's the bare bones of what has to happen to get the scene finished. That stuff just flies out. Filling in those hard returns, though, is murder. It'll take me a morning to get the first few thousands words done and a week to finish out the scene. I don't know why.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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AnimaDictio
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Re: The hardest part of the novel

Post by AnimaDictio » September 10th, 2012, 12:50 pm

I'm a lot like Hillsy. I don't think a novel is worth writing unless it rips out my soul, renews my faith, undermines my faith, adjusts my perspective, dashes my dreams, gives me new dreams, etc. About a third of the way in, I tend to assess whether this is happening. If not, I try again.

I'd rather write three or four novels that incite revolution (or mass hysteria) than twenty decent stories.

The beginning is full of possibility. Easy for me. The middle is where I have to face reality. Have I exceeded the expectations set by the beginning? Is my mind blown? If not, I might as well be watching television.

breathe
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Re: The hardest part of the novel

Post by breathe » September 10th, 2012, 3:43 pm

Sanderling: Good advice. I guess I just feel old and unorganized. Too much to think about.

I have to disagree though (amicably) with "amico" (the commenter above me): I don't need what I read or write to be mind-blowing, earth-shattering gold. I mean, I think that would be taking myself and a book too seriously. I watched "Schindler's List" and appreciated the profound message and importance of this movie. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't love every freaking minute of "Dumb and Dumber" :shock:

(or for a reading example:
Lord of the Rings = amazing, insightful, deep, thought-provoking, important
Dear Dumb Diary (scholastic) = hilarious quick fun

Everything has it's own unique worth, place and a time and a meaning.

emercaughfield
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Re: The hardest part of the novel

Post by emercaughfield » September 14th, 2012, 4:47 am

Novel writing is a great passion and many people are having it. For me the hardest past of novel is it's ending and also it's publishing. After completing a novel it is very frustating to search for a good publisher to publish it. But now with the invent of ebooks this problem is resiiolved. Now we can publish our own book in the electronic format called ebook and this makes as free from hiring any publisher for our novel.

LizV
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Re: The hardest part of the novel

Post by LizV » September 14th, 2012, 11:31 am

I'm with Philabuster -- the hardest part is usually the part I'm currently on.

I've taken to using "This wasn't supposed to be the hard part!" as my motto for the whole writing process. I have a nasty suspicion it'll hold true for the publishing and post-publishing process, too. ;-P

Gypson
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Re: The hardest part of the novel

Post by Gypson » September 19th, 2012, 2:55 pm

Beginnings! Those first 80 pages where I have to set up the world, the characters, the backstory, the paranormal elements....gah! It's a lot of information to convey in a concise, readable manner. I am also painfully aware of how much my writing sucks during beginnings, because my push to introduce so much information cranks out stilted writing. I am constantly rewriting and revising my beginnings, and I am never happy with them. I am always worried that the first paragraph/page/chapter isn't interesting enough.

Conversely, the middle of the novel is the easiest part for me to write. The characters and their relationships are established, the world is established, the reader has some bearing on all the fantasy shiznaz I've introduced little by little--now I can let the characters off the leash and watch the story fly.

paravil
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Re: The hardest part of the novel

Post by paravil » September 20th, 2012, 10:53 am

When you get to the end of your mental notes, characters start doing things you didn't anticipate and you have to sort out the repercussions of those actions. It's hard, but also the most fun part.

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Beethovenfan
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Re: The hardest part of the novel

Post by Beethovenfan » September 20th, 2012, 5:00 pm

paravil wrote:When you get to the end of your mental notes, characters start doing things you didn't anticipate and you have to sort out the repercussions of those actions. It's hard, but also the most fun part.
Hey! That sounds like me!
"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine."
~ Ludwig van Beethoven

JustSarah
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Re: The hardest part of the novel

Post by JustSarah » September 22nd, 2012, 1:52 pm

I don't know what you call it. I mean I use to be able to write 3,696 words a day. The problem was I could never write more than 3,969 words a day. I use to devote all my research to those first 3,969 words. Which created my first two short stories. The first short story was going to be a three act novellette.

it seems to be a research thing to me. I could be going along, and then I just stop at some because because I refuse to just make things up as i go along. Which is kind of difficult when the information you want is hard to come by. (You have to get it at Above Top secret.

There is no reason getting to 2,000 words these days should be harder than getting to 3,969 words was patty cake in the old days. But I always end up getting interupted in skype calls by this guy who hates fiction. I pretty much lose my train of thought for the rest of the day.

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