A few weeks ago, I finished the second draft of my novel. It was probably the biggest structural edit I’ve done, cutting 20,000 words from the total word count while moving scenes around and fleshing out half-formed subplots. The downside of this is that there are going to be holes throughout it which will probably mean another structural edit before I even get to the line edit and final polish.
This time, I’m determined to let it rest for a decent amount of time so I get some distance and perspective before I dive in again. So I sent it off to my beta readers and await their feedback and reactions with excitement and trepidation. I’m OK with the break (other than the undercurrent of anxiety that comes with the approach of baby #2 and probable disappearance of productivity), but I’m not entirely comfortable with not having a writing project to work on. I don’t want to start on a new novel and get seduced by first draft romanticism (otherwise known as never finishing anything). Plus, no ideas. But I want to remain productive and keep the writing muscle active while I can.
So I decided to try my hand at a short story. Again. I’ve written about this before. You’d think by now I would’ve learnt my lesson. Once again I started with an unformed idea and started writing, and this time I got further than a paragraph. I’ve written three pages. But it still doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere. I feel no connection with the characters and I’m already tempted to give up. Rather than write quickly, as I do with a novel first draft, I keep going back and editing, changing happy to glad and back to happy again, which is generally my way of avoiding the fact that it’s not working.
I’ve still got the document open. I still want to write. The story possibly has some potential. I’m just not sure I have the patience to see it through. I’d rather be writing a novel.
4 thoughts on “On hiatus”
Congratulations on finishing the 2nd draft of another novel! I’m looking forward to reading it very soon.
I know what you mean about short stories – I often feel that I should write some, and try to get them published in a literary journal or a short story comp, but to me, they just seem too…short. I don’t have enough room to explore the issues I want to. I have great admiration for those who can write them well, though!
Thanks! I’m looking forward (and nervous) to hearing what you think of it 🙂
I have four days to complete this story if I want to enter it in the competition I was aiming for…but I’m already starting to think about whether it might have novel potential…
I’ve been slow to respond to you but when I was looking at rewriting a short story recently, I found this site which has some really helpful ideas from 10 different sources:
Thanks Darryl, I’ll check it out 🙂