Once upon a time, I stared at a computer screen and wailed in distress. I had an awesome idea, awesome characters, even an awesome couple of quotes I couldn’t wait to write. But every single time I tried to write the first five or so chapters that sucked. They were horrible and made me cry and wish that I had never even sat down to write the stupid thing.
But. Once I get past those five or so chapters and about 15,000 words, my writing flows. It flows in that horrible first-draft way, but still. It flows.
This is basically my way of telling you that I find the first part of the book the hardest, most stressful, most nerve wracking part of the book to write.
Now, most people led me to believe that the middle of the book is the hardest. You’re past introducing major characters and foreshadowing and whatnot, and you’re not to the exciting finale yet. You’re stuck in the middle. One rather amusing person said writing the middle of the book is like stalling on the on-ramp of the freeway.
Now, everyone has a different part they struggle with writing. Is it;
- The Beginning- You don’t know your characters yet, you haven’t gotten to the kidnapping or the murder or the fire-spewing dragon or the quest. Your characters need to make good first impressions and you need to introduce the setting and the world and it’s just stressful.
- The Middle- Your characters are introduced. Your corpse has been found, floating face down in the river. People are panicking about a murderer…and you don’t know what to do. Your characters are running in circles (literally and figuratively). You can only have them order a coffee so often before it seems like you’re just trying to up your word count. Writing the middle has the same feeling as slogging through mud in water-filled rainboots.
- The Ending- Your characters have found the murderer and they’re locked in the cellar awaiting there almost-certain death…and you’re panicking even more than they are. You need to tie up all the loose ends and beat the murderer and also have a (possibly) happy ending and it’s so stressful you feel like banging your head against the desk.
There are also many other things difficult about writing. To name a few…
- Killing characters. Your poor babies trusted you, and look how you betrayed them. Maybe sobbing will apologize to them. Just don’t cry on the computer.
- Making up entire new worlds. If you’re an epic fantasy writer or a whole other world sci-fi writer, you know this feeling better than anyone. Um…why exactly do people sacrifice a virgin to the great space-worm every five years? Why does the king make the queen/princess drink a magical potion every night before bed? WHY WHY WHY?
- Naming things. What do you mean every single character needs a name? Or that this town can’t just go by “Fictional Town?” Says who???
And this is only a small taste! There are so, so many things that make writing difficult, and some days you just want to throw your hands up in the air and go to bed. So I’m asking you: What makes you do this?