Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Evils of the Questioning

Last year I had used NaNoWriMo to begin my latest attempt at a novel.  I got off to a rocky start and unfortunately never recovered to reach the 50000 word goal.  That's life, I suppose.  I did it last year, not this year.  Oh well.  I really did not feel defeated until December came and went and I was barely any further along.  Then came the Questioning.

What is the Questioning?  I think most writers know what it is.  It's that point in your writing endeavor when you hit a wall and while you stagger and try to get going again you begin to wonder if what you're doing is correct.  You question whether you've done enough research and maybe that's why you're stalled.  You question if this is the right story for you.  You don't want to get cornered into a genre or age bracket that may only be temporary.  Basically, you question everything.  One question leads to another and before you know it you've stopped writing the novel.

This is the crucial point at which a writer decides to either quit and maybe move on to something else or to plod on and finish what has already been started.  I can't help but think those that choose the latter are the ones we call authors.  They discovered what it takes.  I have found this out the hard way.  I finished one novel many years ago (thanks mainly to my wife) and have self published it on Amazon.  Since then, I've started many versions of a fantasy novel but I've never finished another book.  I've always let the Questioning scare me into stopping so I could rework the plot, change the characters, create a different magic system.  But then I'm back to page one.

But not this time.  I almost fell into that trap once again but I realized I did not want to abandon the 127 pages I already had and after reading it, I'm sure the questions I had about it can easily be fixed as I continue and then in the second draft.  I refuse to give up on this idea just to jump into another.  It's all just another trick of the Questioning.  I'd much rather focus on the Writing and then the Publishing.

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