16 Aug 2009

The Chapter - I salute thee

It's the little things that get you through.

Reading about the output of other writers on their blogs and listening to a writer friend of mine talk about what story he's finished writing this week (okay, he's mostly redrafting old material, but still...), I've been feeling like the slow kid in class lately. I'm the kind of person and writer that likes to feel as though he's making progress – getting the work done. And that is perhaps the hardest part of writing a novel, the grey feeling that it's going to be a long haul. So, God Bless the chapter. It may not provide the thrill of completing a brand new short story, but it's a nice pick-you-up on the journey toward that 90 or 100 or 120,000-word mark.

Yesterday, I put the finishing touches on chapter eight of The Ballerina, the Boy, and the Thing in the Water (after rewriting 2500 words; even for first draft, it was some bad shit) and felt that momentary surge of elation I'm talking about. Savour these moments. Today, I sat down and typed "Chapter Nine" at the top of a page and felt the discomfort of staring at the blank page all over again. But I kept ass in chair until I had something. Maybe not something great, but something I'm content with (until draft two, that is), something that will keep me coming back and putting down the words until I reach the next stage in my journey – chapter ten.

5 comments:

Robert Aquino Dollesin said...

Congrats on Chapter 8 being behind you. Also for keeping ass in chair to get Chapter 9 going. I haven't tackled a novel, not in the real sense, the serious sense, the determined sense. It's kind of scary to think about, really.

So honestly, congrats on what you've achieved!

Sophie Playle said...

I've not written anything novel-length, but when writing long short stories I always have a sense of satisfaction when I complete a scene and move on to the next. It's that feeling of 'Yes, this project is actually moving forwards, not backwards(!)'

Congrats on getting to chapter 9. Keep going! :D

Brian G Ross said...

The Novel really is like the meal that all these little nibbles (the short stories) are inevitably leadin' us towards. There's a great temptation to just fill up on the short stuff - the sweet, the sugary, the tasty - and forget that although the novel doesn't taste all that good all the time, it is ultimately a lot more satisfyin' when you finally type...

THE END.

Steven J. Dines said...

Thanks for the supportive comments. And nicely put, Brian. I'm really enjoying the experience at the moment but you do have to accept it's not going to be a smooth ride all the way through (which CAN be the case when writing a short). You have to take encouragement and keep yourself motivated any way you can.

Danielle Ferries said...

At least you've got something down on paper that you're content with. You can always go back later and edit.