Worries about my Work In Progress

How's your novel

Wrote a first draft of my current novel for NaNoWriMo and it went okay except for the fact that it was way too short! Finished at about 25,000 words which is only half of what I should have. Left it until after Christmas to start the editing process and decided to re-write from the beginning hoping that each time I wrote it, it would come out longer. The first edition was actually only the bare bones of the plot with very little of what the characters were thinking and the action practically took place in a vacuum.

So for this version I’m writing now I’m trying to add a lot more interiors, if you understand what I mean, to the characters and do a lot more description. I thought that one way to add more interior thinking for my main character would be to switch from the third person that I’d written the original in to the first person and then she’d be able to think out loud. Also started writing in the present tense which I wasn’t sure about but decided to go with for now.

Well I got about twelve pages in and lost the present tense which I think is probably a good thing. But I also found myself shifting back to the third person. I did think that the first person wasn’t working out as well as I’d expected. So now I’m back in the past tense and the third person but still ploughing on. I’m full of all the usual worries like “Is this a load of crap?”, “Does this story work?”, “Should I abandon this and switch to another project?” etc, etc, etc.

The good news is that I am keeping up with the page a day challenge that I set myself on the first of January so I have seventeen pages of version two of The Bear In The Woods so far!

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6 thoughts on “Worries about my Work In Progress

  1. Hmm, it’s hard to do a good first person story– the narrator (unless s/he is telepathic) cannot know exactly what other characters are thinking (or doing behind the scenes). Some subplots would help add story and also make a smoother 3rd person piece. Or you can play up the unreliable narrator bit…

  2. I’m working on my first 1st person POV. I’m used to doing third person and have found myself slipping back to that at times. Also feel like I’m doing more telling than showing with it. But, I’m pushing through with it and hope to fix any problems in revisions

  3. I finished my first draft (80k words) at the end of December and haven’t felt able to look at it since. A total confidence crash. After reading your post maybe I’ll go for a long walk today and pluck up the courage to at least read it. Thanks, Nancy

    • Don’t be too hard on yourself. I’m sure even William Shakespeare had bad days when he thought he was writing nothing but drivel. We writers seem to wear our doubts like a hair shirt. You wrote an 80k first draft! Good for you! When you’re ready, move on with it but be gentle with yourself and others.

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