Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Falling in and out of love...with a novel

Our wonderful follower, Corey, asked me this question:


I have a very important question on writing. I recently haven't found much time at all(as usual I suppose.)to work on my book. There are times when I feel my book is getting kind of bland, but I just want to skip all the talking and blah stuff to just get to the action, magic, and drama! What can I do to fall back in love with my story?
Finding the time to write, first of all, is harder and harder as you go through school - I knew that in Jr High and now in high school, I realize it even more.  With that said, writing can be frustrating when you're A: too tired to write  B: you're not inspired to write, but feel you really need to and C: when you finally think you're going to write and your computer randomly dies and won't turn back on. 
Thinking that your book is bland is completely normal - everyone has those feelings that "my book isn't as good as John Verdon's or John Green's.  They just have something that I don't." *there's nothing blah about dialogue - though, Corey, it's my favorite part, really.* However, sometimes skipping unimportant descriptions (or as I call them "filler sections") is acceptable.  Just insert a page-break or begin a new chapter with action or use the ***'s to symbolize time has passed.
As for falling back in love with your story...I'm not exactly sure what to say to you here, because right now I'm in the same boat.  I've kinda disliked my story at certain times, but I've never been so out of love with it as I am at the moment.  But the difference between you and me is that I know why I fell out of love with it, to me, it seems you don't really.  Usually when someone says they fell out of love with someone, when they realize why, they have peace-of-mind or sometimes they can even work it out because they realize where the faults were.  I know that at the moment I can't even pull up my novel because of the fact that I started writing "for" my cousin, Jimmy, whom was recently killed in Afghanistan.  In my novel, Jim is basically a character - Hallie's cousin in the Army - and he comes home in one of the books.  I can't stand the thought of writing what was supposed to happen, or what I wanted to happen, with Jim when I know it never will.  Not to mention that Hallie has a recurring dream that Jackson (Jim) is being ambushed in Iraq (which will probably be changed to Afghanistan) and that he...dies in her arms.  I don't think I could even stand to look at the scene, read it, think about it, or anything.  So I'm kind of put-out with the story right now.  I think - I hope - in time I will be able to look at it again, but that's a thing that's always going to have an open wound in my heart and each time I have to read, write, or think about Jackson is going to be like I'm pouring salt water in it. 
So, in your case I just ask you to think about why you started writing your novel, why you've kept with it for any amount of time, and why you used to love your characters and story basis - after all, you couldn't have fallen out of love with something if you never had loved it.
I'm hoping this helped you, Corey - and anyone else who's struggling with this issue.  Let me know if you have any questions or any other topics you'd like Charlie or I to post about.



Anonymous said...

Hanna <3
We have not had much time to talk. I miss you.
Great post!
I'm sorry about the writing, though I think, even though it will hurt to write the scenes... your emotions will make the writing MUCH stronger.
If you don't write for a year, two years... five years... it won't matter. You are already great to me. :)

Corey_Parsley said...

Thank you so much for posting this. You are truly inspirational and very wonderfully blessed with the art of writing as well. I suppose you are right on what you said. I can't really can't fall out of love with my story if I never loved it to begin with. Truth is, this is like my baby. I've stuck with it for three years and if that doesn't spell LOVE I don't know what does?! So, I guess it's just that I am anxious and excited for the future, but at the same time I want to be sure to get all the neccasary information, forshadowings, and dialog in there to prefectly lead up to the heart racing and adrenaline pumping chapters that my future readers and I will look forward too. You're a good friend. Thanks so much, again.
God Bless.

Hanna said...

@Charlie - I know, my computer died and won't turn back on! I don't know what's wrong with it, so I don't know how to fix it at the moment!
And you have to say that. :) But I definitely won't take that much time off of writing itself, but maybe get away from SOLACE for a while, until I can stand it again.

@Corey - Thank you. I know what you mean, SOLACE is like my baby too, which is why I hate that I can't even pull it up (because I don't want to and because I can't because of said computer dead-ness). But remember that you've got to give all of that neccasary information out so that your readers will care what happens to your characters and so that the adrenaline pumping, heart racing chapters will be adrenaline pumping, heart racing chapters to them as well as you.
No problem, any time.