Like any involved project, writing is a process. There are steps to the process: outlines, first drafts, revisions. At times we seem to speed through certain parts, gliding our way merrily through each obstacle with our inner muses speaking sweet plot words to our typing fingers.
Then there are times when our muses speak in drunken tongues, losing our story directions as we slam head first into a mental brick wall.
Which part of a novel do you have the most trouble writing?
Is it the beginning? Are you the type of person who knows exactly what the plot of the story is? All your imaginative characters have their acting scripts ready, standing on stage about to commence with a grand cinematic scene, but the prop boy forgot to get the clapperboard so you could yell out, “Lights! Camera! Action!”
The beginning always seems tough, as fingers hover over the keys, wondering how to start so you can get to the meat and potatoes of the story. Do you find yourself a bumbler at beginnings?
Or is it the middle? You have an awesome first 50 pages. Action. Thrills. Love triangles. Mysteries. Numerous plot arcs to span across the Atlantic ocean to invade Spain. But then, you have no idea where to go from there.
You know what ending you want, but you don’t have a clue on how to reach it with the storyline you have. Perhaps you’ve resolved too many issues too quickly in those beginning chapters, and now your characters are loitering about smoking cigarettes and drinking cheap scotch with nothing else to do. Do you find your bulging middle sagging while you search for a treadmill to get physically fit to run those last miles to a satisfying end? Do you take too many missteps at the middle?
Is it the ending? You have a strong beginning. You’ve followed through with an entertaining middle, and now you . . . don’t know what else to do. You don’t know how to put the plot to bed.
Perhaps you created too many unresolved issues and you don’t know how to tackle them all? Or you resolved them too soon in the story? Your characters are standing in the aisle, waiting for their paychecks for only working half a day, and you are aware that the production accountants will have your head on a spit if you don’t fill those theater seats to capacity with a full-length feature. Do you find endings excruciating to write with no clear picture on how the story should finish?
For me, beginnings can get iffy now and again. They are the hardest for me to write, as I wonder what angle I want to take with it.
Which part is hardest for you?