If people ask what projects I’m working on, or what my long-term goals are, I can always say, “I’m writing a novel!” But deep down I know that I’m really just procrastinating as the first draft ferments and stagnates in My Documents.
I’m at an awkward point in my novel where I’ve just passed the last scene that I actually had a plan for. That is, I had several main ones in mind that were in a nice, connected, chronological order. With those successfully written, I have a few other random ones that may or may not happen since I never really decided how to link them to the overall plot. I only planned up to a certain point when I first started writing it. At the time I assumed that I’d figure the rest out as I went along. Well of course that didn’t happen.
I’m lucky to have an engineer and serious sci-fi fan as a boyfriend, because when I need some crazy scientific reasons for something, I can ask him for ideas. [I’m honestly not sure why I started writing sci-fi when I really think it’d be easier for me to write children’s fairy tales or YA fantasy.] Anyways, I got a few things from him, but that doesn’t cover everything. In fact, talking to him only brings to my attention the multiple problems and plot holes. I’m starting to realize that I need better motives for some of the characters. I need more diversity. And I should probably do more research on green technologies and energy crises, since that’s kind of the setting of this whole thing.
Part of the time I feel like starting over and fixing every problem I can find, even though I’m only about halfway finished with the first draft. It’s difficult to continue when I see so many errors. And I can only lament the lack of plot-relevant ideas within my brain.
I opened my story doc last night for the first time in a few months, and wrote a whopping 346 word conversation before getting distracted by tumblr and YouTube. [Curse you, internet!] I know, it’s no one’s fault but my own. I also know that the only way to get this done is by sloughing through it.
Those how-to-write-a-good-book authors always say “Just write!” And that works fine, if I’m writing for NaNoWriMo and I don’t even have a perfectly coherent plot. [Some people have wonderful plots in their NaNoWriMo projects, I’m sure, but I generally don’t think everything out. It’s kind of a reoccurring theme in my life.] It’s so much harder to word-vomit when I want things to be nice and consistent and make sense.
Maybe I just need to let go of my inner control freak editor. I mean, that’s always a good thing to do for a first draft, right?