The Fear; Doubt in the Novel?

The Fear is the worst part of novel writing, and I got it pretty early on in the new project.  I had the name for The Fear introduced to me by Ian Rankin (not personally, but whilst watching a documentary that followed him throughout his writing process,).

I had been mulling this new idea for the novel around in my head for a couple of years, perhaps a little longer, and I was sure that when I came to write it, it would just flow smoothly out of me.  After all, I’d been planning it in my head for all of that time, (look at previous article: poppers, Growers and Oh my Godders: it had been a grower). Wrong.  The first two-thousand words came effortlessly; it was a joy to write and it was all so good.  Then it felt like it was beginning to fall apart, and now I feel like I am teetering on the edge, just holding the story together.

I do think that this is natural though; it’s good to be doubtful of your own work, then you will push it as far as it can go and make sure that everything is as close to perfect as you can get it.  And I think that when you start on a new work – after having spent so long on another that you have been so close to, and known the characters so well – you’ve still got to learn to live in that world and live in the characters; they’ve still got to grow into real beings.  But I’m still shitting it; to be only five-thousand words in and to be feeling the fear.  I worry about what is to come next.

But it’s all part of the process, isn’t it.

Anyway, enough for now.  Hopefully the fear will pass soon.

Rob.

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3 Responses to The Fear; Doubt in the Novel?

  1. Jill London says:

    Feel the fear and do it anyway, but I know you know that. As you say so astutely; it’s a process.
    I think questioning your work, as painful as it is, is vital. It’s the mark of a writer who can actually grow and improve. I’m sure it will pass soon but, yes, it’s hell while it lasts. Hang on in there.

  2. captainwafflez says:

    The Fear. Jeez. I’ve been there. I’m there again. I think the only way I got through it was through writing. Just writing. Anything, everything, and all that my characters wanted to say or do… It made for a fairly pants few thousand words.. But when you’ve had that idea floating around your head for goodness knows how long, you owe it to yourself, and more importantly, those characters, to keep going with it.. Right? …Right?

    *bites fingernails*

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