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I’m writing a novel. It’s a psychological thriller and so far I’ve written over 20,000 words. Writing is really hard work. The first draft in particular is like stepping into the unknown, like entering an uncharted desert. Pointing the story in the right direction, crafting the plot and breathing life into the characters can be fun but mostly it’s just bewildering.
I’ve now reached the notorious middle part of the story. This is the part that even many bestselling authors fall down on. The reader’s attention has to be kept by what happens in the middle, they need to feel compelled to read through to the end. While I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do this, when I think of the chapters that have to develop the plot further and make the reader care about the characters’ fates, all I see is a mess without any form to it. I know that time and persistence will solve the problem. I just need to keep writing.
I write my story direct into a Word document. However, I have a notebook (see picture) where I jot down ideas for creative writing. I also use it to work through problems, map out plots and make notes when editing. I could potentially have my novel finished in months, rather than years, but I’m such a slow writer and also stuff tends to get in the way. It’s enough to know that I have a work in progress which some day will be complete. There’s a book inside my head and this is the process of getting it down on paper (or screen). For me, the pull of reading is stronger than the urge to write. I’m actually reading four books at the moment – usually I only read two at any time – so I haven’t finished any of them lately because my time is divided more thinly. I’ll be back soon with a book review…