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March 12, 2010

Musings

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I have another confession to make: I have trouble with my follow-through.

This is true both in life (I think it’s why I can’t seem to reach my goal weight or balance my checkbook) and in my writing.

More than one mostly finished manuscript languishes in my collection. Two of them that I thought were done are still several thousand words short of even the shortest category-length novel. (Being some of the first things I wrote, they’re also full of head-hopping and other annoyances I’ll have to go back and fix if they’re ever to see an agent or publisher’s desk.)

The ones that trouble me more, however, are the half-finished ones. I start out writing and for a while it’s great. The words are flowing and I’m in love with the characters and situations.

But then, I always hit a wall. I stop writing … for days, weeks, even months at a time.

When I go back to read through what I’ve written, I find myself in love all over again. The great metaphors and interesting characters make me wonder why I ever stopped writing it.

I think it’s because I get to what the gals at theĀ Ruby Slippered Sisterhood call “the sagging middle.” When I can’t think of what should happen next, I abandon the story and start a new one. And the result is a bunch of really good starts.

Because half-finished novels do me no good, I need to figure out how to get around this problem. I don’t want to write at a frenetic pace for a few weeks and then hit a wall.

I suppose plotting beforehand would help. (I tend to be more of a pantster, making it up as I go along.)

Writing something every day also seems to be helping. (I did finish “Blind Date Bride” because I signed up for the NaNo and started writing much more regularly.)

Any other suggestions? I’ll try pretty much anything once. (I plan to do some pre-plotting on my 2010 NaNo story in October.)