Noveling Problem

Weeks and weeks, maybe months, ago I read a blog article about “episodic” writing.  I duly noted that I might be susceptible to that, since my most-frequent story-intake is television (first time in my life: Yay Hulu and SageTV!), and I created in chunks and scenes even before I watched 3 shows a season.

Then, waiting to go to sleep last night (it is so. not. fair. I don’t fall asleep instantly), I was reviewing the sequence of activities in my novel and couldn’t find my cohesive arc.

Lots of interesting happenings and character building and block-laying, but for a clear beginning-to-end….

Trying not to panic.

This could be another one of those shaping moments like finding my three strands.  Maybe it’ll just make the book much shorter than it is now.

Or (this is the most scary option to me) I might have to scrap half the work and create new material to make this a marathon rather than a relay race.

I’m trying to say, I know the relay is a legitimate race, and I know the story is a good one now.  But just like you’d be called a cheater if you shared the marathon with 5 other runners (You did not run a marathon!) I’m afraid this isn’t can’t be called a good novel.  Yet.

Still going to finish this revision.  Only three scenes left.  ~ 35 pages.

Then we’ll see what can be done.

5 thoughts on “Noveling Problem

  1. I think creating cohesion is one of the hardest parts of writing a story, especially in this tv/movie filtered world. I’m impressed that you caught the mistake now.

  2. Don’t Panic! (In large, reassuring letters, as the Hitchhiker’s Guide says)

    Finish your revision and let your volunteers readers read it. Include questions about story arc/episodic nature in your reader questionnaire.

    Get their feedback before you scrap half your book and rewrite.

    I can think of authors who write in an episodic fashion and it really works…Frank Peretti and Tom Clancy both come to mind.

  3. Thanks Becky–

    (I wondered if you’d stop in to say something reassuring like that.)

    I’m probably going to fit in a book or two before I finish– it’s been too long since I finished a novel and my momentum feels it– But once I get back I expect to finish in a few days.

    One of the books I picked up yesterday has me very intrigued and eager to read. (I’m a *horrible* book-reviewer when it comes to predictability. I can’t stick with a reading plan for anything. But I read, and I think that’s what counts for most.)

  4. Okay…take a deep breath and don’t panic! Everything in a book can be fixed. It’s not written in stone. You can always go back and insert a scene or two or however many it takes or you can take a few out – just keep them somewhere safe incase you change your mind later.
    Good luck!

    Joan De La Haye

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