I have officially completed editing the first six chapters of my novel, Post-Its. I’m not sure what progress this amounts to, since the first draft had no chapter divisions. I’ve been adding a lot of scenes to what I had written during NaNoWriMo. While sometimes it feels exciting to be going deeper into the relationship between Emily and Travis, other times it is tedious work. There are a few scenes I wrote during NaNo that I just absolutely loved, so I find myself excited to revisit them and make them just a little bit better.
It’s tough, to be honest, to find the time and motivation to write. I am usually most excited and motivated about it at inopportune times, when sitting down to write wouldn’t be very convenient. When I finally find time for myself, where I don’t feel like I’m ignoring my “real job” or my kiddo, I stare at the computer screen for long periods of time…willing myself to think of something to say.
And I know I wrote that letter to John Grisham, understanding his disdain for research, but I really feel like I want some element of reality in this story (don’t ask me why; I don’t know). So writing about characters living in Brooklyn and going on a day trip to Manhattan is really REALLY difficult. You know, since I’ve never been to Brooklyn and the last time I was in Manhattan I was pre-pubescent. So I get into writing a scene, and then I become consumed with the wondering. Where is the Central Park zoo in relation to the Empire State Building? What kind of businesses are in the ESB? What does New York look like from the ESB? What about to the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty? What else can they do while visiting the Statue? Didn’t they close part of the Statue after 9/11? Has it re-opened to the public?
And on, and on, and on.
It’s exhausting. These questions creep up on me, and then suddenly I’m spending hours Googling for answers to these questions (and wondering if my characters should go to the Museum of Sex…since it comes up in the search). And I get so exhausted that I decide to stop. As in, stop researching AND stop writing.
Part of me wants to just say fuck it and take out their stupid little see-the-sights day in Manhattan. Or describe it in a short paragraph and move the fuck on with the story. Probably a better idea anyway. Because as soon as the writing isn’t fun anymore, I figure, what’s the point? I write because I love it and it’s a form of entertainment.
I am, however, still loving my characters. I’ve been able to do a little bit more development for both the two main characters, as well as a secondary character who I don’t think I paid enough attention to the first time. They have become almost like real people to me, and even though the things they do can be considered cliche or overdone when it comes to fiction novels, I still adore them and wish them well in their future.
Oh, and besides the research frustrations, I am having one small little insignificant problem with my plot. It’s kind of cookie cutter. When you’ve read as many books as I have, and seen as many movies as I have, I find it is difficult to write something that feels completely fresh and exciting and so different from EVERYTHING ELSE OUT THERE. I’m almost at a point where Emily is going to be from Neptune and have sixteen eyeballs or they have to save the world from exploding when a nuclear warhead is accidentally placed inside a microwave. Or something.