Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca.
Cardinal Edition 1955 (4th printing).
Cover art by Tom Dunn.
As someone hoping to eventually write at least ONE book, I'm facing a conundrum... I had something I wrote last year, ended up not liking the way I wrote it out, rewrote it for NaNoWriMo, found it more acceptable and then I just... stopped. Any tips on getting over a hurdle like that? It's not that I don't have things to write for it, just that I can't get past this one annoying point... Feel like an RPG character facing a wall and my pathway is fixed so I can't just go around it.
I’m gonna kick your ass a little bit here.
Are you writing because you want to be a writer, or do you have a story to tell? Nothing wrong with writing for the sake of writing. It’s excellent practice. But it’s not always gonna be the best motivator for getting results.
I reeeeeeally want to be able to do the splits. I’ll work at it for a while, and then forget about it, because I realize I want to do the splits only if I don’t have to work at it. Really wanting to do the splits isn’t enough. I don’t have follow-through in that area. It doesn’t hold my interest long enough to accomplish it. There’s other things in my life I’d rather be doing.
But when it comes to my comics and writing, that’s what I actually want to do. I have so many stories to tell. I have something I want to say. I am willing to work at it, even when it isn’t fun. Because it’s often not fun. There are long parts of this job that are super boring. It gets done because I don’t stop. If something isn’t working, I find a different way to do it. There’s always another way to go at a story.
So first ask yourself why you’re writing this book. If it’s for the sake of being able to say you wrote a book, then just keep typing words until you have collected a lot of them and then write “the end.” But if you’re writing the book because you have something to say, then say it. Sit down and say the thing you wanted to say. It’s hard, but again, it’s work.
If you can’t write past this one annoying point, readers are even less likely to get past that point. If you’ve written yourself into a corner, back up. Keep hitting delete until you’re at a point where a character making a different choice leads to something more interesting that you actually want to write again. You might have to abandon some of the plans you had for its future. It happens.
Your path is never fixed when it comes to writing a book, because you can literally rewrite its history. Be patient. You’re not famous yet and there’s no editors hounding you with a deadline or fans demanding the next book in the series. You haven’t published anything yet so there’s no worrying about having to retcon something. Just write your story and don’t tell yourself these hurdles can’t be overcome. Don’t let yourself make excuses like that.
Often the adult book is not for you, not yet, or will only be for you when you’re ready. But sometimes you will read it anyway, and you will take from it whatever you can. Then, perhaps, you will come back to it when you’re older, and you will find the book has changed because you have changed as well, and the book is wiser, or more foolish, because you are wiser or more foolish than you were as a child.Neil Gaiman
Cover art for Warm Worlds and Otherwise by James Tiptree Jr.
Charlotte Brontë celebrated with a birthday Google Doodle. Brontë was born on 21 April 1816 in Thornton, Yorkshire, the third of six children.
Come Back, Dr. Caligari by Donald Barthelme
Reading words puts them in your mind. You never forget. Even when you don’t get a chance to dwell on the music, you can hear it in your head.Carolyn Davidson
Jaws 2, the novelization of the 1978 sequel to Stephen Spielberg’s Jaws.
Klaus Staeck, Pornografie, 2007.
“Please allow me to wipe the slate clean. Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom. Think of love as a state of grace, not the means to anything, but the alpha and omega. An end in itself.”
RIP Gabriel García Márquez, 4/17/14