I have this habit of writing wherever I might be, and surprisingly, I do better when I’m multitasking. That is, until I fell into a chapter that made me feel completely unprepared for the task of writing. I spent a week on this chapter! I knew what I wanted, I knew what had to happen, but why couldn’t I get there?
Because of my own limited knowledge on where I had placed my protagonist. I had to research… a lot. Now, I did my share of research in college, but this is different. This isn’t backing up claims or discovering information that someone else came up with. This is creating a story that never really happened and inserting facts that smoothly react to the characters in just the right places to make it cohesive and credible. I had to constantly go back and change what I had written to better portray what existed in reality. Then I wrote some more, researched some more, changed some more, and needed to add another character who winds up being important, though I never intended to create such a character in the first place. It was ridiculous. I had a headache and wanted to scrap the entire chapter. I kept trying to convince myself that I can go on without it and maybe visit it again later.
Noooo! My stubborn and devastating determination won! That, and I just knew that if my novel were ever to be published (hahaha!), the first person to read it would know a little somethin’ somethin’ about that area, and BAM! My book would suck because I screwed up the information.
I finished that beast. Chopped it finely, sprinkled it with cheese and digested it when I was finally able to rest. Is it any good? I sure as hell hope so, because I’m not sure I ever want to see it again.
I did learn something from this chapter. Writing is work. It takes time and careful planning. It’s more than just being good with voice, it’s drawing in your readers enough to make it believable. If you’re writing fantasy and your world is in your head, great! But, make sure you follow your own rules. Remember where your character lost his duffel bag full of lingerie and if there had been a hotel there before. I’m writing in this world. I have to make sure the land and buildings exist before I write in the character.
There’s a good chance I’ll be missing the hair on the left side of my head where I pull it and I’ll giggle without reason at odd moments when all this is finished.