Worried By Lack of Momentum

I discover some of the best stuff just clicking on links through Twitter. This time, I found author Alex J. Cavanaugh and his wonderful brainchild The Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

It’s a blog hop on the first Wednesday of each month where writer-types can share their insecurities and/or encourage others.

I soooo need this.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m working on revisions of my first novel. I’m flooded with insecurities at the moment, but the worst is worry over my lack of momentum.

Part of my problem I know is looking at my WIP as this huge, many-tentacled monster.  It is epic fantasy told from several POVs. It’s not exactly the best thing for a newby to cut her teeth on, but it’s what I love to read and the basic story idea still speaks to me. Of course, I do wonder sometimes if it’s something that’ll speak to anyone else.

The first draft was very, very rough and written over three years. It was a mess. Once I wrestled with it and found it’s focus I realized I needed to dump a lot and write about 30 new scenes.

The revision has been start-and-stop ever since. Whenever I come to a new scene, it takes me sometimes a week or two to write. There are days I hate it and want to burn it. Then there are days I think it’s not so bad and just don’t want to give up. And of course there’s also my everyday responsibilities that I’m, well, responsible for.

Maybe I’m just getting impatient but I can’t seem to be able to step up the pace.

Any advice here would be greatly appreciated!

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25 comments on “Worried By Lack of Momentum

  1. Kim says:

    Wow. I commend you for sticking to this project as long as you have. An author I heard recently said that if her book was a child, it would be a teenager, since it took her over 13 years to write it…but she was so glad she endured. Dig it out of yourself. Take a writing vacation to a different setting? Whatever you do, be nice to yourself. Also, as a high school English teacher, I loved your post on Gatsby, I wish more parents read with their kids. Good Mom.
    -Kim

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  2. J.W. Alden says:

    Welcome to IWSG, E.K.

    First of all, congrats on getting as far as you have. Many don’t even get through that first draft, so kudos. As far as powering through revision, I’m probably the last person to offer advice, because I actually enjoy the revision process. It’s one of my favorite parts of the writing process. That being said, I think the best way to get through the sluggish parts are just to knuckle up, put your head down, and do it. There’s no way around it that I’ve found. What works for me is setting a strict daily routine that I make myself stick to. Obviously circumstances are different for everyone, but if you can find a consistent schedule that gets your butt in the chair regularly, hopefully the gears will start turning for you.

    Good luck!

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    • E.K. Carmel says:

      Thank you, J.W.! Actually, before this, I’ve always enjoyed the revision process. I’ve just never worked on anything that was novel-length before. I find I do well with a schedule, too, except mine keeps changing. I do keep coming back, despite the long periods in between. Hopefully, that counts for something. Thanks for the encouraging words!

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    • Heidi says:

      That “survey” is pure propaganda Jihad. The BBC report mentioned “Dalia Mogahed of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and co-author of the report”. This is the same Dalia Mogahed who, together with Isailo-apomoglst John Esposito, had published an earlier “survey” that massaged the numbers to whitewash Islam. This is also the same Dalia Mogahed who was recently picked by Obama to be his advisor on Islamic affairs.

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  3. joylene says:

    Read Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. Then read his next book The Passion of Writing. Not sure I have the title correct, so just read anything Mr. Maass has out there. It’s sure to make a difference. It certainly did for me.

    Happy IWSG.

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  4. dmrodriguez says:

    Howdy and welcome to the IWSG! Being new myself, I’ll be eagerly reading as many entries and comments as I can over the next few days…

    I can share your pain with the ‘many tentacled monster’ being a fantasy author as well… I submitted some work to a critique group and more than one person recommended trimming down the many POV’s I had. I am still working on that and it seems to of helped the overall flow considerably.

    Good luck and pace yourself!

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    • E.K. Carmel says:

      Awesome – another fantasy writer! Funny, a little voice has been whispering lately that I might have too many POVs and I’ve kind of been ignoring it. Maybe I need to reconsider. Thanks for the warm welcome!

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  5. Try spreading it all over the place. put pages on the floor, the walls, pile them up, mix them about, try to see if there are any patterns you might be missing. It’s also a good way to remind yourself of the huge amount you have done, and I’m guessing you’re usually the one to tidy up after everyone else. It’s good therapy to make a mess, get an overview of the book. I write little books cause I don’t have your sort of patience. I love getiting to the end and packing everything away. Until the next one….

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    • E.K. Carmel says:

      You made me smile, Barb – yes, I’m always picking up after everyone else! At one point I did have everything all out where I could see it. MAybe it’s time to do it again. Thanks!

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  6. Welcome to the group!

    Novel writing is definitely a process – especially one like the one you’re working on. Hang in there. It will happen if you keep plugging along and don’t give up. 😉

    IWSG #145 until Alex culls the list again. 🙂

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    • E.K. Carmel says:

      Thank you, Melissa! Ah, the process – yes, I’ve gone through so many stages in this process, trying different things, seeing what works for me. Just gotta keep on goin’. But it’s wonderful to meet new folks who know what I’m going through. It definitely makes it easier!

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  7. Eileen, I think you’re doing great! And you set the pace, not anyone else. So if you’re happy with the results you’re seeing, then who cares if it’s not at the same rate as another writer. If you’re unhappy with the current pace, set an attainable goal for yourself, then get to it. 😀

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    • E.K. Carmel says:

      Thanks so much, Leah – you’ve been my cheerleader through a lot of stuff! You are so great at setting goals and working toward them. I’ve found I’m lousy at it. I really have to trick my muse by pretending not to have them. Sounds counterintuitive, I know, but I’ll muddle my way through eventually.

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  8. Carrie-Anne says:

    It’s definitely more challenging to edit and rewrite a long book, but it’s worth it in the end. I also have lots of characters and subplots, though I do historical, not fantasy. When you say multiple POVs, do you mean third-person omniscient or several first-person narrators? I read a book for my YA Lit class recently that had EIGHT first-person narrators, which seemed really overkill. If you’re going the many narrators route, it’s really important to make sure each one has a very unique, distinctive voice.

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    • E.K. Carmel says:

      I have seven 3rd person POV characters, but two make up the bulk of the story. I’ve been playing around with the idea of dropping a couple and seeing what that does with the story. Yes, the distinctive voice is what I need to work on because they sound similar right now. They have different personalities but it’s not really coming through in their speech.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

      Like

      • Delphia says:

        hiivassa sienisokeria: hiivahan ei varsinaisesti ole sieni eikä sisällä trehaloosia mutta se voi tuottaa sitä kyllä mutta niin voivat monet kasvitkin.. eli tolla päättely tavalla mitään kasvejakaan ei saa syödä.aromivahvenne ei tarkoita purkin kyljessä hiivauutetta vaan natruimglutamaattia. hiivauute merkitään eraukeen.asstralialaisethin muuten käyttää hiivauutetta lähes joka ruualla ja pysyvät silti hengissä..

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  9. Livia says:

    Welcome to IWSG! When I look at my writing and look how bad it is, I sometimes want to delete it all but I can’t. You gotta have some faith in yourself along the way and grow stronger. I know you’ll be able to make your WIP shiny – you can do it! 🙂

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    • E.K. Carmel says:

      Thanks you for that encouragement! It’s weird. On one hand, I know I can do this. It’s just that sometimes in the midst, when it’s hard to see the end of tunnel, I begin to doubt. Luckily, it’s a feeling that doesn’t last for long periods of time.

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  10. lexacain says:

    Welcome to IWSG! Don’t worry about overreaching in your first novel — it shows you have ambition! When revising, it’s best to have a good critique group. Their opinions and suggestions can be invaluable.
    Good luck! 🙂

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    • E.K. Carmel says:

      Thanks for stopping in and commenting! I honestly haven’t been ready for anyone to read my stuff yet. When I get to that point, though, I have a couple writer friends who offered to beta read. So far, I’ve been focused on getting the writing done.

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  11. Suzanne says:

    Hi from ISWG. I am a fantasy writer for MG/YA. I found the hardest thing to do when writing from various POV’s is to not ‘headhop’ mid scene. In edits I really had to dug out these issues. Good luck with your work.

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    • E.K. Carmel says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Suzanne! Headhopping is something I’m pretty good with and stick to one POV naturally. But I know others that have a hard time with it. Good luck with your WIP as well!

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  12. D J Mills says:

    I enjoyed the few snippets I read and still look forward to reading the whole story from start to finish. 🙂
    I also doubt myself on occasion, but one good review keeps the doubts away for six months or more.
    At this time of year, I look back at what I achieved for the past 12 months, and realise, I enjoyed writing the stories. It is an added bonus if readers enjoyed the stories. Write what you want to read, then put the stories out for readers to find.
    Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. 🙂

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