I can't write simple, uncomplicated novels. I've tried. I always start out with a relatively simple concept, or so I think. But it invariably turns complicated. My husband says it's because I overthink things. He could be right. I do tend to over-analyze a lot.
My current work-in-progress has been a challenge. I've enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, but man, there are days - like yesterday - when I wanted to shove every last page into the shredder and never look at it again. The last chapter I wrote felt like the old saying by Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith: "There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." Every word felt forced. Fortunately, for me, that is a red flag that something is wrong. Either I'm not writing in the correct POV, or the scene shouldn't take place at all, or there's something wrong with my plot.
This time, it was my plot. So what did I do all weekend? I worked on getting that plot point figured out. I used the "notecard" method this time, and wrote down all my plot points on each card. Miraculously, it helped me to "see" my story and where I needed to go with it. And thank goodness - I figured things out. Again.
Writing is hard. We know this. And for some reason, with every word we write, we expect that it's going to get easier. This is my third novel. And it's not any easier at all.
Oh, I've learned quite a bit in writing the other two, learned things I shouldn't do again, but I'm also realizing that every single novel is different. The plot of my last novel came to me quite easily - but there were other aspects of it that I wrestled with over and over again. My current novel is giving me fits with the plot - but other parts are easier.
So in answer to my question, "Shouldn't it be easier than this?" I suppose the answer is, "No, it shouldn't." Why? Because anything worth doing, and worth doing well, involves lots of hard work. And let's face it - whether you are willing to do that hard work is what will separate you from the rest of the pack.
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