So you’ve spent a few hundred hours on a novel already and you’ve experienced all different forms of writer’s block, twice.
In my case, one of the things I’ve discovered, is that my villain’s name (let’s call him Robert) just doesn’t seem to fit. But I’ve come to the realisation that although I would love to change it, I’m stuck with Bob. His name just can’t be changed this late in the game because that’s what he’s been called from the start.
I made the rookie mistake of making sure that my protagonists don’t end up with the names I’ve been saving for… err… other things since the age of 12, but I should also have put a bit more thought into the rest… and now it’s too late. Characters are not quite people, but they are not like pets either and in your mind, their names are what they are.
The other thing I came across as I was editing and finishing yet another chapter of my novel, is that my characters are pushing the story forward faster than I can write it.
Although, they’re not really the ones to blame.
I’m a task oriented person. I like to get the job done.
And this seems to be the problem my characters are having, they’re not paying enough attention to everyday things, the things that make it interesting. They are neglecting to see the trees for the trees, and it wouldn’t hurt for them to use some of their other senses once in a while, either.
All in all, the writer’s fault.
Strangely enough, I’m experiencing the same thing. When life gets in the way, it’s easy to miss the things that, if paid enough attention to, could make an ordinary day extraordinary… And assist in fighting the battle against procrastination.
“So, when will you finish this book of yours?” I was recently asked, by the same person who at more than one stage in the past, complained that I was writing too much.
But the question I’m focussing on right now, does not start with ‘when’, but ‘how’.
So, in short, to finish my book, I need to make my characters stop to observe the small things.
And I’ll try and do the same.
And maybe one day, sooner than I think, I’ll start to edit the last chapter in my book and realise that I’ve won the battle against the organised muddle of previous drafts and that it now flows and makes sense, and not just to me.
I can submit it to… someone. Only to repeat the process and start the next book.