The sitting on one’s hands shall continue!

Every Monday a group of friends and I sit down to write for an hour. This past Monday I was worried I couldn’t write, so one of my friends suggested a challenge–to write about a character cooking–and I agreed. Instead of writing about cooking though, I ended up writing a scene that could follow where I’d last left off in the novel.

Which is a long-winded way of saying clearly my brain would still like to work on the novel.

It’s funny. While I was writing the scene I was fighting myself the whole way through. I finally stopped when that fight just got to be too much and I just hated the last bit of what I’d written. I’m so mad I’ve suddenly allowed that demon of self-doubt back in the door when I’d been pretty good about holding it off for so much of the book. I suspect Sue has the right of it, that I’m afraid of the ending. I also think I’m just plain tired–from writing so much so fast for such a long period of time (for me), from shenanigans at work, from a sudden bout of insomnia and blues.

Speaking of the day job, I really wish I could skip it, some times. Yesterday morning I had this amazing nightmare (hm, should those words really go together) which made me want to write a little scene or short story so badly. I wanted to, but I had to go to work. And then I tried to hold it all day, but by the end of the day it was all tatters. It’s still lurking and lurching around the back of my mind, but now I don’t know that I can do it justice. It was so fresh, and well, terrifying.

Also, someone please explain to me why the most horrifying monsters in my dreams seem to be these skinned/naked wolf-dog creatures? 🙂

Not quite at the finish line

So I hit two-thirds on the novel and it was like a mental breaker tripped in my head.  Things skidded to a halt and words refused to come.  I felt distanced and detached from my characters.  The whole story felt like a mess and I just wanted to junk the whole thing, all 80,000 words of it.  Didn’t help that Mass Effect 3 came out and I desperately wanted to play it. (Did, and beat it, but now I’ve beat it and I don’t have that excuse any more.)

Up until last week I’d pretty much managed to keep up to my average-of-750-words-a-day goal.  Last week I flubbed that goal completely, eking out only 4500 words.  Yesterday I wrote about 1200, but they’re skeletal at best, wrong at worst.  One character’s motivations are completely absent even though they’re really important to the scene.  I’m afraid to fuss though, because I don’t know what the scene should really be, yet. It feels like a place I just need to come back to. 

So I flounder.  I don’t know what to do.  Does this mean it’s time to set this story aside?  (But this happens with all my novels, around the two-thirds point.  I set them aside, and only in one case have I ever come back.)  Do I try to push through, even though the writing feels clumsy and awful and I feel like the problems in this book are piling higher and higher? 

It doesn’t help that Mass Effect totally made me want to pick up the Motley Star again, being cute space opera. I opened up the Word file and reread a bit and felt all fond of it again.  It’s not perfect, but it’s cute and popcorn-y and enjoyable.

I don’t know.  I desperately wonder if I should open the “door” and beg for a cheerleader-reader.  I’m worried that’ll just stress me out even more, unless they’re 100% positive.  I worry that alternatively, I’m just tangling myself up in my own doubts, not really seeing the whole picture coming together.

Oh god, I desperately want to make it through this rough spot.  This is always where I get stuck.  Doesn’t that mean I should just push through? 

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Anyone else have a spot where they traditionally get stuck on their novels?  How do you push past the self-doubt?  How do you keep yourself focused and writing through it?