Struggling with Fiction Writing

Back in April, I wrote about how I was struggling with starting a new fiction story. To my surprise, I have stuck with that story, the storyline, and its characters. I have the entire story planned out, chapter by chapter, and I’m only seven chapters in.

I wrote the 95,000 word story I finished in January in 10 months, so it’s safe to say I spent a lot of time on that one. But I wrote most of it during last fall and winter, when I stayed inside and needed a change from writing academic papers.

Now I’m finding myself struggling to write the story I’m working on now. I like the characters, and I’m still in the stage of figuring out who they are, what their quirks are, etc. I’ve been taking funny stories from my life, podcasts, and pop culture to include, and I like the overall path I have planned out.

I just can’t seem to find the time, and I feel bad. By no means is there any deadline for me to meet, which is good, but also would maybe kick my butt into gear. But it takes time to structure a story and make sure everything makes sense and lines up.

I have a few questions about my characters swirling around in my head, and I find myself putting myself in their shoes, trying to figure out how I’d react or what I’d say in a situation. The other issue I’m encountering is that some of the ideas I have for this story are a little similar to the one that I finished. And I want them to be separate, because they are separate stories with different characters and different settings. But they both follow roughly the same path as most contemporary romances do, so some of the stuff might be similar. That’s why I’m trying to make the characters different and unique in their own ways.

It doesn’t help that I already changed the main character’s name seven chapters in and I might get rid of her sister—like remove her from the story—but not 100% sure. Plus I might change a few things about the other characters. I guess it’s not as bad as in my other story when I did a complete story re-write six chapters in. I just like to torture myself, apparently.

Every once in a while, I get on a kick where I can write a section of a chapter, but for the most part, I feel like it’s collecting dust in my Google drive. Maybe once fall comes and I’m not as busy I can spend more time writing it. I know I can’t pressure myself into writing it, but I also have to stick with it. Because, who knows if I have a New York Times bestseller on my hands.

7 comments

  1. No one really understand the torture a writer goes through except another writer. The name changing and the rewrites!? We really hurt ourselves, but in the end of it all. That’s how we know we’re in love with our passion to write.

    Like you said, this next story could be THE STORY. The one that gets you notice and they make a Netflix film about it. Take your time. Get the story right. Fall in love with your creation.

    Finding time to write can be a struggle sometimes, but we leave time on the table everyday without knowing. Carve out 30 minute windows in a day for it. It worked for me! Good luck, Becky!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I just like to make myself miserable. I feel like I need to sit down and read it from the beginning and just go ahead and make the changes. I’m not sure if I’m afraid to make the changes because it’ll take long or what but I know it needs to be done, because ~8 chapters in, it’s not working.

      For some reason, it’s easier for me to write in the fall/winter, mostly because I’m stuck inside. I’d rather enjoy the nice weather now and just write down ideas here and there and then start getting back into writing in the fall.

      Like

      • I have a story from 3 years ago I tried to write for National Novel Writing Month (Not sure if you know about this) but I free handed it without an outline and sure enough, 30000 words in and I slammed into a big wall 😩 Re writes are just the life of a writer. It’s like a Jedi with a lightsaber. (Star Wars reference, sorry lol).

        I guess the cold keeping you inside makes since. I think you should definitely try to squeeze more out of your writing whenever you can though. You’re passionate about it and the only way to get to that NY Times Best Sellers list is to produce. Easier said than done of course as I advice you to write while I procrastinate my rewrite 😅

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I know about NaNoWriMo! I sort of participated last November and wrote ~25,000 words. I made myself a goal to work on my story once a day and try to write as many words as I could, since I knew I couldn’t reach the 50,000 words goal.

        I’ve been picking at my story for the last couple of days. I still think about it and take one thing from one chapter and put it with another, and I made sure I wrote it down so once I get to that part, I’ll remember. I just need to force myself to write.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sit down and write the first page. You probably won’t keep it. In fact, tell yourself you won’t. Trick your mind. By doing so you’ll relax.

    Write that one page. That opening that you’ve already thought of. If you haven’t thought of an opening write anyway. Put pen to paper and have your story write it for you. This is the closest thing to magic we’ll ever see and far better.

    Your characters will come alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Becky. I’m also a New England girl and like the Red Sox. Congratulations on getting this far with your novel. Record and reward your progress. Pick a “due date” for yourself and work backward to create the milestones you want to hit. Consider finding an accountability partner. (I blogged about my experience with one.) Finishing the draft is a huge milestone but that’s when the work really begins. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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