Thursday, January 10, 2013

Birth of a Novel: The (Not) Birthday Edition

Last Thursday I was going to write a Birth of a Novel post, and call it the birthday edition. Because January third is my birthday, naturally.

But, life had other plans, and it's a week later. The baby and the husband were both sick, and there was one night where the baby didn't sleep at all. We're talking crying out in his sleep from ten until two when I got him up, to being awake from two until five when he passed out from exhaustion.

Then he woke up at eight in the morning.

Yes. I was miserable. The very limits of my patience were tested and exceeded. Parenting: not for the weak of heart. 

I got him to go back to sleep until eleven, and I spent the day on the couch staring at the TV, counting down to nap time. 

Couple this with being very stuck on my book, and I don't have a lot of progress to report on my word count. I did sit down yesterday, after sleeping great for the last two nights, and hammer out some brainstorming.

See, the thing is, the book has veered wildly off course. I have ideas of characters and plot threads to put into the book, but they're not there yet. Things are very different, and I am having a hard time building up to the climax when the beginning and the middle of the book don't really match up. 

I read this post by Laini Taylor today that made me feel much better. Most of my panic is because I don't know what happens next. It makes me very comfortable. The book feels like it's coming apart at the seams and I have no idea what to build towards.

I have to remember that a lot of writing comes from faith. You have to believe in yourself; in your ability to spin something out of nothing. I made everything up--all the characters, the plot events, the setting. All of it. It came from my brain.

Sometimes, you have to trust your brain to come up with stuff later. You might not have the answer right away, and that's scary. But that's okay. The answer will come.

I'm not sitting and waiting for inspiration. Yesterday's brainstorming session was very productive, so today I am going to try and re-outline the rest of the book. 

If you build it, they will come.

So remember. Trust your brain.

How about you? How's the book coming along? What about the rest of your plans?


  1. How's my book coming? It's coming along great. I'm reading it at every opportunity.

    ...wait, you mean how's the book coming along that I'm writing? Ummm...did I mention the book I'm reading? Yeah, it's pretty awesome.

  2. Oh, excellent point, and I love Laini's posts. I often head over to Not For Robots to remind myself that writing is hard.

  3. LOL, good for you for sitting down to keep plotting. Sorry for all those sleepless nights. I wish I could say it gets better, but I'm still up nights. Just for different reasons. :)

    My characters staged a coup d'etat today and now I'm stuck. The problem is I like the direction they're pointing, I just can't see around the curve. And things were moving along so nicely!

    good luck, I hope we both plot our way to the end.

  4. LMAO Joe you sound like me. It was a great book! What, the one I am writing? Eh...

    Rena: I love her blog for writers! It's so awesome. I love thinking about the draft as an exploration.

    Charity: Ouch. I usually open up a new document and explore things further. I censor myself less that way.