When a chapter tries to beat you!
I’ve been trying to rewrite a chapter of my new novel for weeks. The original chapter in the first draft lacked emotion, avoided conflict and didn’t pack the punch it needed to as one of the novel’s significant chapters. I knew what I wanted to do with it and planned out the reworked chapter on 26th March – nearly two months ago.
Great! Now all I had to do was write it Easy?
Definitely not! Trying to write it left me feeling like this.
The trouble was – I couldn’t. I NEEDED to finish the chapter. It was making me miserable, and I worried that if I put it to one side, I would NEVER go back to it. So, I sat doggedly at the computer, getting more and more desperate. I swung between Facebook and my various emails when really I wanted to be writing. I couldn’t rid my mind of words such as turgid, rubbish, pointless. The chapter needed emotion but the emotion I felt was
During this time I went to see a friend in Yorkshire for a couple of days and decided to go by train. I took my notebook to write by hand – something I don’t do very much any more. I wanted to fool my brain into thinking it wasn’t writing. It sort of worked. What I wrote wasn’t great, but I managed to keep at it for most of the journey. And when I got off the train in York, I had several sides of A4 – messy, scrawly, muddled – but words on the page.
I’d like to say that gave me a major breakthrough. But it didn’t. Finishing the chapter was still a slow, painful process, but last week, I did it! I can’t tell you the difference it’s made to how I feel. I knew it was making me depressed, but didn’t realise how much until I’d got through it.
It still needs more rewrites, but I’ve broken the back of it. I’ve actually been able to smile again. Whoopi-do-dah!
Tags: Frustration, Rewrites, Writer's Block