We Have a Problem

I have a problem with my writing. Namely, the 20,000 word threshold. My problem isn’t getting there. It’s wanting to keep writing once I do.

When I started writing a historical novella about three weeks ago, I was so excited about it. Why had I ever written a contemporary? Clearly I was born to write historicals! I love my characters! I love the conflict between them! I had learned so much from the first manuscript so I wasn’t making the same mistakes!

Then, about a week ago, I stated approaching 20,000 words and my enthusiasm just leeched out. I knew what I needed to do next. I just couldn’t get myself to do it. The entire manuscript began to feel blah.

So I wrote the scene that I had had in my head for about a month. Then I wrote the chapter that I needed to set it up. Then I started plotting. And suddenly … it’s so easy to write a contemporary! You don’t have to stop to do research! It’s so much easier to write fresh, sexy dialogue when you’re not worried about anachronism! I was born to write contemporaries!

The next thing I knew, I had 10,000 words.

But I’m worried. I’m worried that I’m going to hit a wall where I know what comes next and I can’t get myself to write it. I’m worried that I’m a dilettantish writer. That I only like the beginnings of things.

What do you find the most difficult part about writing? The beginning? The middle? The end? How do you get through it?

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Author: Emma

Emma is a novelist, full-time mama, recovering academic, and former political staffer. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves her twins' hugs, her husband’s cooking, her cat’s whiskers, her dog’s tail, and Earl Grey tea.

2 thoughts on “We Have a Problem”

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