Sunday I finally got to a plateau with my #NaNoWriMo project. I had a short-term goal that kept motivating me to write–the point where the protagonist in my Pilgrim’s Project story finally makes it across the Mississippi River. Now she’s across, and…I am having a hard time getting going again.
Novels are best written in small pieces. Those who never complete their novels are those who are thinking about the next 50,000–or 90,000 words. Those who do are thinking about the next chapter, or the next scene. It’s easy to write a scene. A scene can be anything from a paragraph to a few pages. Throw 3-5 scenes together and you have a chapter. Throw 20-30 chapters together and you have a book. That’s how I have written most of my books up to this point. And I should have stuck to that formula. The formula I am using in the writing of “Infinity’s Reach” is to tell each chapter first person by one of the people in the story, most of the time by someone other than Infinity. My original plan was to always tell it from someone else’s perspective, but I found that didn’t work, so I included her viewpoint a few times.
And that’s worked so far, but having a short-term goal has freed me from looking too far ahead. Trouble is, now I am at the point where I DO have to look farther ahead. And that’s when I have learned you have to forge ahead regardless of whether you think what you are writing is good or not. If you do that, eventually it will all start gelling again, and the story will begin telling itself. But that’s not going to happen right away.
As I see it, I have nine more chapters to write, but that’s not set in stone. Some of my earlier chapters have mutated into two chapters. And that’s OK, because that’s a sign that the story is developing. But if I tell myself to focus on nine chapters, I am going to be encouraged, at least enough to keep going.
So far, my writing on this project hasn’t been my best, I feel. But it’s hard to be objective when you are in the trenches. I’ve learned that over the years. I will withhold judgment until I am done. In the meantime, I have nine more chapters to write.
Back to work.