I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks and that’s because I’ve been making pretty solid progress on my second book (still no title.)
So why am I writing a blog post now? Has book 2 has come grinding to a halt?
Well, to quote the great philosopher of our time, Reverend Lovejoy. “Short answer, yes with an if. Long answer, no with a but.”
It’s not exactly that I have writer’s block, more a mild case of writer’s inconvenient obstructions. A whole bunch of little hurdles and plot points I need to overcome before my story gets to where I need it to go. I know that the only way to get past these small annoyances is to sit my arse in a chair and write the bollocks out of them, and I intend to do that, but I feel a small diversion is in order to freshen up my mind.
This is a tactic I’ve been using quite a lot over the last week and I am not sure if it’s ingenious or imbecilic. Whenever I’ve run into a bit of trouble with my novel, I’ve opened up a new file and written something completely different, generally a very short story/flash fiction.
On the one hand, I think this has definitely helped my story telling. It’s also allowed me to experiment with different genres and to try some really inventive things that, as a novel-writing newbie, I wouldn’t dare use as the basis of a long story.
On the other, it feels a bit like I’m halfway round a marathon course and have decided to ease the pain in my legs by running some intensive sprints. Surely if I’m writing a book, I should just write the bloody book. I mean writing 100,000 words plus is tough enough without pissing half your daily word count away into some experimental 2nd person love-story, narrated by an unreliable cactus and the ghost of an unborn puppy.
So, what are your thoughts? When you have a project, do you focus solely on that or do you sprinkle some shorter works into your schedule? I’d love to hear your ideas.
Chris C Barnett