by Jessica Flory
It happens to everyone. You’re slogging away, page after page, filling the blank space. And then you start to wonder… Is this even worth it?
Finish, No Matter What
If you have published several times, you may have the right instincts
to know if the story is just not working. Then you can consider
putting it down before you’ve reached the end. If you’re still a new
writer, then do not stop writing.
The thing is, the middle of your novel is always going to be the worst part.
At the beginning, you’re really excited. You’re working on a new
project! At the end, you’re almost done. You can taste the success.
In the middle, though… You’re just chugging through a thick layer of
manuscript, and the end is nowhere in sight. You’re thinking that
every chapter you write sucks.
Here’s the good news – you’re probably wrong.
If you’ve planned according to story architecture, then everything is
probably just fine. Keep going. Finish that novel, no matter what.
Even if you never publish it, practicing writing a whole novel is
crucial. You need practice blending everything that makes a story into
a whole. If you give up in the middle that will never happen. You’ll
never get to practice writing an ending, and you’ll never get to see
what the complete story would’ve looked like.
So finish, no matter what.
Look at Characters and Plot
If your story isn’t working, you need to take a step back and evaluate
it. Go back to your outline. Are you following story structure? If you
can answer yes, just see the tip above.
If you can’t completely answer yes, it’s time to go back and look at
your outline again. If you’re bored with your plot, chances are that
readers will be, too.
Then take a look at your characters. No one wants to read about boring characters, let alone write about them. Look at your character’s development. How do they change over the course of the story? What are their wants, needs, thoughts? Just adding these things in can make them real and intriguing.
Take a Break
Creativity is like a well. You drain it, squeeze all the juice you can out of it, and then it’s just… dry. It takes time to refill. If you hate your novel, it could be because your creativity well is getting low.
Read a book. Eat a cookie. Do something other than write.
Try working on your novel for half an hour every day, just letting
yourself write, nonstop. Putting in half an hour every day will give
your well enough time in between writing sessions to refill.
Writing a novel is tough! Sometimes in the midst of endless pages is
easy to start wondering why you started it. These strategies can help
How about you? What do you do to fall in love with your story again?
Jessica Flory helps authors fulfill their publishing dream with
story writing advice on her site, Storytips. She loves to
write YA SciFi and Fantasy (yep, she’s a nerd), and she took a
creative writing class from Brandon Sanderson. Be jealous.