On Writing Past the First Chapter…

just write

The above photo was found while reading “Do You Make These 5 Mistakes” by Sheila over on her blog Cow Pasture Chronicles (seriously, how can you not want to check out a blog by that name?).

It’s no secret that I want to write a book. It’s a novel idea, I know, but one that I have had for a while now. Thing is, I have several great ideas floating around in this head of mine that I am slowly working out. Which is a great place to start, but some of those stories have been mulling around inside my cranium for well over 20 years.

Why, you might ask, have I not written them out for others to read? Let me explain (no, let me summarize):

  1. The words come out onto the page, and I edit the entire thing while I write. This is a horrible habit so I am told, and my experience with it proves it right every time. I get 800 to a thousand words on the page, and happen to read it because I got up to do something, and ten seconds later, DELETE.
  2. The reason I delete all that work is because I have this killer of confidence called self-doubt. I know, none of you struggle with that, but as I read my words, I ask myself the same set of questions, “Who’d read this?”, “Who do you think you are?”, “Hasn’t this been written before?”, etc… You know, the atypical gambit of questions.
  3. Novels are 75000 words. Seventy-five THOUSAND! Ok, for a teenager, texting that would take, what, 10 minutes? But, I see that and instantly just go into “What are you thinking???” mode. I think that might be the reason flash-fiction or short stories draw my attention. Cause, I don’t even like reading that many words let alone write them.
  4. I write in a void. Ok, not really, because a void would be devoid of everything. And there isn’t anywhere I go that someone isn’t around. Or something. But, I don’t really have anyone that I can mull my ideas over with or bounce my thoughts around on. Sharing my ideas is different, and that I can do, but, it’s not the same as with someone who adds that ‘fresh’ perspective.
  5. Distractions abound. Ok, so I’m a bit of a short attention span kind of person. Since starting this post, I’ve already read three other blogs and looked through my email, and I’m only making a list of why I can’t get past the first chapter. And as stated above in number 4, there is always something or someone around.
  6. Um… I don’t know, I just didn’t want 5 things, so there.

I’ve been given solutions to how to overcome most of these. Slowly, I’m finding my rhythm, part of which is writing in small sections. For instance, the current work I am focusing on, I started with a page and just wrote down three plot point ideas, then added some story ideas. The next page I wrote some character information important to the story, added some scene descriptions, so action points I want to have in it, some ideas for character development, and little by little I am starting to flesh out the outline.

You know, little bite size pieces. Something that I can manage. Something that I can build on. Something I can wrap my brain around and not feel overwhelmed. Something that doesn’t feel like sitting down and writing an outline.

Oh, and did I ever mention I can’t stand outlining?

7. I can’t stand outlining. (I was really trying to stay at 6 points, honest)

Eventually, hopefully, you will see my book on the shelves of your local book store sporting that gold or silver badge. Until then, I’ll keep plugging away, one book chapter page word at a time. And who knows, maybe this time next week, I might actually have the first chapter of one of the 8 or 9 books in my head done.

And not delete it two seconds later.

7 thoughts on “On Writing Past the First Chapter…

    1. Well, I appreciate that, and I will be sure to tell the voices in my head of your approval. I will warn you though, they are a sneering lot who like to.. well.. sneer… a lot… so. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I think you write beautifully. I love when you doubt yourself, you are very funny. An autobiography should sell millions 😀 (A character who’s always fighting himself is the one that I can identify with the most 😀 (if you add to that a BIT of naughtiness and some doses of romance… what can I say, that’s a best seller! :D)

    Liked by 1 person

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