Welcome to my series, The Writing Journals.
A companion series to The Editing Diaries, The Writing Journals is me talking about writing and complaining about writing and mostly giving general updates on how it’s going as I write this first draft. I don’t plan to talk much about the actual story I’m writing, as I try not to share all my excitement now and here, but instead pouring it into the story. So, no spoilers, sweetie. Now run.
(Today being one of my favorite holidays (it’s Hobbit Day!!!), I wanted to incorporate hobbits and LOTR into the post somehow. Second breakfast for those who get the references! There are 5, not including gifs or videos. See how many you can find!)
Writing this novel has had it’s ups and downs, more ups though recently, which is nice.
I’ve dropped out of the Pacemaker regime. The thing about me and daily goals is that, as long as I’m on time or ahead, I can work just fine. But if I fall behind and falling behind was actually a necessary thing to do– I fall behind especially when I’m stuck– then the plan doesn’t do really anything except stress me out.
This is why NaNo tends to be too stressful. Not only can I not usually write 50K in such a short time, but NaNo also leaves no room to work through problems. And writing should not be stressful. It should be merry.
Perhaps the worst problems for writing happen in between The Choice and the Midpoint. We know what the story is; the character has made the choice to carry the Ring to Mordor. The Midpoint is the middle of the story when we know the main character has to make another choice, moves from reaction to action, we start getting answers, and it’s almost like a miniature Low Point. Hey, we may even have brilliant ideas for what’s going to happen at the low point, when all the bad things we set up crash down and all seems lost.
But what about what happens after the character has decided to have a story but we aren’t to the midpoint yet?
I have gotten stuck before at this point. I have put at least one novel aside because of this problem (anyone remember Short Circuited?). And with this novel, the challenge of getting through this spot was harder.
Sometimes, you can add another plot line and that will help. And I really didn’t have another plot line that I wanted to add. Anything would have to be added to the rest of the story and nothing really excited me enough.
So I had to fill the hole with ways my MC was carrying out her choice. I already had a few things figured out but I didn’t think I could stretch those things as far as I needed. Those things would be stretched too thin, like butter over too much bread. Also, I’m a bare bones writer.
This is when my critique partners are amazing. I sent a message to my Samwise, Lily J. She knows the most about this story at this point (besides me, obviously). I told her what I was planning and asked if she had any ideas for other things that needed to be done.
She had a great idea and all the sudden, ideas started flowing and I’m not stuck anymore. I’ve figured out the things I’m going to write before the Midpoint.
And that’s how the past couple weeks of writing have gone. I still plan to be done by sometime in mid-October, but I did find out that my Grandma is going to be here from the 6th to the 20th. So… we’ll see.
If you want more hobbit-y fun to celebrate Hobbit Day, watch this video:
Also, check out my post from a couple years ago about Sam Gamgee.
Happy Hobbit Day!!!