Novel number 5 – all at sea?

So I’m 36,829 words into what I’m hoping will turn out to be my fifth novel. Almost halfway through maybe? So how’s it going? Well……

1. I have a bunch of characters who I like working with (and one that I don’t but that is kind of the point of him.) They are not quite there yet. Most of the time, they react to the situations that I place them in as I would expect. Every so often, they react like I would. That’s no good and sometimes quite hard to spot. I need to work on washing away the last vestiges of me from their thought processes. I get in the way.

2. I have a story that I like. Obviously, I still have a long way to go but so far, it is still holding my interest. Can’t get bored with your own plot! That would never do.

3. I have time. During the holidays, I can always find an hour or so to hammer out that day’s quota of words. Writing every day not only keeps up the momentum but helps me to remember where I’ve hidden those sneaky little foreshadowing points that get lost if I have too big a gap between writing sessions.

So that’s it then. Simples. All I have to do is keep going and I have a bestseller on my hands.

I wish!

The trouble with being half way in is that it’s an awfully long way to the shore. Imagine me, cast off in my little lifeboat. I have enough resources to last me for a while but they won’t stretch indefinitely. I need to keep rowing or things will start to get difficult. I can see the sharks approaching.

I’m not alone in my little boat. I’m there too. Not the me who came up with the idea and spent months thinking it through, researching, talking to people. Not the me who started with such high hopes and has managed to maintain that for nearly 40,000 words.

No. It’s the other me.

Have you read this rubbish?
Why are you writing it in that tense? It’s not really working, you know.
Those sections when you’re in her head – they are self indulgent and repetitive.
Where’s the emotion in this story? Are they all made of cardboard?
You really think that subplot is worthy of the  name?

I’m not that keen on her, to be honest. She nags away at me. She undermines me at every turn. She can reduce a great idea to pulp in a matter of minutes if I let her.

I read through what I have so far yesterday. Until that point, the words were flowing from my fingertips faster than I could type them. Now? Well, I didn’t write anything yesterday and today I’m doing this and tomorrow there may be another excuse…

I know what I have to do but doing it with all the noise that she’s making in my head? That’s hard.

But I have a secret weapon. There is something that I know though and that she always forgets. I am stronger than her. I never give up. I always win. It takes time but I always get there eventually.

So whilst she’s there, nibbling at my self confidence, I shall sneak up behind her and push her overboard!

Did you hear that splash!

Imogen.

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