Begin Again

I’m back into the writing. I’m back to working on the novel, still untitled. I don’t think I’m far enough into it to figure out the overarching theme of it, and I haven’t written anything clever enough to pick it for a title. Hence, it remains unnamed.

Aye, that’s the rub. I keep seeing, on the internet and in books, these lovely little adages. I haven’t written one in this novel yet, which I think is contributing to my feeling that it’s silly and pointless and devoid of any intelligence. 

Plus, there’s the whole issue in that there is no action, really, so far. I read the book, and it’s fine, but I have this nagging, overarching feeling that it’s . . . boring. I love action, and it’s undeniably essential to a story, but it’s the part of writing one I think I struggle with most. Dialogue? I’m your woman. I flatter myself that I can write realistic dialogue. But action? I’m slightly subpar, I think. But, practice makes perfection. 

This week I attended a meeting of a local writing group. Everyone was lovely and welcoming. They also gave me some great ideas regarding the novel. I’m starting again, but I’ll be sure to keep what I’ve already written. That’s one thing I’ve learned with all my reading books on writing that I agree with wholeheartedly. I worked hard on those words. There are thousands and thousands of them. I shouldn’t just delete them like they mean nothing and took no effort. 

The two best ideas the group members gave were some heightened drama possibilities, and to start at the end. What that means is not to write the novel backwards, but to consider what I’ve already written as backstory. They asked, “What would happen if you began after the fallout, so the main character had to deal with that, and that was the story?” It was brilliant, especially because I didn’t know how to write a satisfying ending to what I had already written as it was. 

So, here I am, armed with an outline that makes me excited in the way my last one never did. Here I am, letting the outline and some ideas ruminate for a few days. Here I am, on the cusp of readiness to write.

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