I started a new novel last fall and haven't gotten very far on it. One reason is that as a panster, it's intimidating to sit down and try to "squeeze something from nothing"... when you have no clue where this story is going. Or that if you do have an idea, you're not sure how you'll get from Chapter 1 to what you do know, which might be chapter 14 (or thereabouts, because you can't even know the amount of chapters because you don't know anything). Right now I have a lot of conflict and two full chapters, some images, subplots, and characters who will appear in the future but I'm not sure what their roles will be. Despite the little bit I do have, I feel like the majority of it is just one giant hole. And it yawns in front of me, taunting me with the threat of NOTHING EVER HAPPENING--EVER.
Then, there's also the feeling I have that this story is going to go somewhere I don't want it to go emotionally. There, I said it. This story is personal. Not that I've ever written anything that isn't. But it's... how do I say it... current. I have a feeling that writing it is going to be less pleasant than the time I lost my toenail due to the wrath of a heavy door (and my weak, four-year-old arms). Or maybe it won't be current at all. Maybe it's just the threat that it is. I always try to feel what my characters are so that I'm into the story. Maybe I'm just afraid of the depth of that emotion.
But in talking with a friend a few weeks ago, I realized that I was putting unneeded pressure on myself. Because I've been trying to follow the advice out there--that while I'm waiting for something to happen, to keep writing so that you can say you've finished something else, are working on something else, etc. Only I ended up overwhelmed of the huge emotional jungle in from of me that I will have to get lost in as I write this story. But I forgot something important:
There's no one waiting with baited breath for this novel. No, really, this is a good thing. I'm not contracted. I'm not agented. Depending on the outcome of the two contests I entered, I'll know how to proceed with my completed stories. But I have no deadline, no one impatiently waiting for the next book to spill from my heart.
Maybe this one is just for me.
Or maybe it's not. Maybe I'll get to the end and be able to release it. Maybe it'll end up being something worthy of publication. But I'm going to write it because it's a story I need to get out, even if I don't know it all right now. So I'm writing. And while it doesn't make logical sense for me to write a novel that I don't know if I'll even put out there, I need to write this one.
That is, if I ever figure out what's happening.
Is anyone else at the beginning stages and frustrated?
See y'all Wednesday!
4 hours ago