Monday, October 18, 2010

Writing: The Tough Stuff

Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies.

I’ve been working on a short story in preparation for NaNoWriMo, and I’ve hit a dark spot that I’ve never encountered before. I’ve read that in the beginning stages of writing a story, you’re excited and love your characters, plot, setting, etc. But, unfortunately, that excitement dies down and so does your will to write. This isn’t something that has only happened to me. It’s something I think most writers encounter.

I’m at a point in my story writing where I hate my characters. I despise the landscape that I see every time I open the document to further the story. I’m finding holes in my plot that I don’t know how to fix, and my urge to delete the whole story grows every time I look at it.

I think this is what separates wannabe writers from real writers: the will to get over this hurdle.

This story was obviously exciting to me at one point and it can be again. I just have to reacquaint myself with the characters, fix those pesky plot holes, and tweak the setting so I can be happy envisioning it. And, that takes willpower. Sometimes, it feels more like homework than a craft I love, and it probably will feel that way until I get the story back on track. But, when I emerge with a completed piece, something tells me that I’ll be much happier than I would be if I highlighted the entire story and hit the delete button.

Wish me luck!


  1. You'll totally get over it :) Pretty soon you'll be wondering how you could have ever hated it! Besides, any writing is good practice for Nano...

  2. This reminds me of the ASI Newsletter articles you wrote about getting over writer's block and creating a happy writing environment.

    I hope you keep pushing through, not just because I can't wait to read your work, but because you are a GREAT writer.

  3. I'd say take a break if you can and then come back to it. Maybe if you are still feeling radical you can take pieces you like and the same inspirational characters, but place them in new situations and scenes.

    I used to write what I thought was a final draft of poetry and short stories, just to have my writing professor push me hard to make drastic changes. So, I would take the elements I liked, scrap the rest, and end up with a much better finished product by draft five or six.

    And, usually as a writer you are your own worst critic. So, I'd agree with Jenny by saying that I bet it's great and someday you'll re-visit it and realize that. Right now you are just too close to love it!