Another post! It’s like I’m pouring a little out for my homies every day.
I’ve reached an impasse in my writing out of sheer disgust of the material that’s been coming out for Nanowrimo. (Watch live as I crash and burn here!) I know, I know, the point of pumping out a novel in a month is to get workable material and not necessarily Starry Night in a hat box and you have to give it time and bah bah bah blacksheep. Although I’m giving myself a plethora of ass-in-writing-chair moments, I can’t seem to make my brain function in that direction. (I blame you, television/alcohol/substances/myself.) I just don’t see the point of having several pages of worthless shit. (My thesis advisor would tell me that no work is worthless and that you’ll eventually find some use for some, if not all of the material. But pfft, what does she know?*)
These days, instead of building my word count, I find myself re-reading the beginning of the novel. My advisor has been telling from jump that these are my best pages. Not that the others should be burned in the ninth circle of hell, but some of them are just not there yet, you know? But how exactly does one go about capturing the essence of that material on the rest of the boatful of shenanigans?
Research shows (by the way, I made this shit up) that the first three chapters of any novel are the most solid. These are your babies. You’ve watered and fed them with the most amount of time and fanciful edits, as you should. They’re the lifeblood of the rest of your work. Here, the characters must be clearly defined, the dialogue sharp, and the wit a-poppin’. If those pages don’t make sense, then the rest of the novel is bound to fall apart somewhere.
And in terms of spreading the wealth, you also want a way of maintaining that level of momentum until the very end. Some of the very best writers can’t do this. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been annoyed by a great novel that ends up sucking in the last 40 pages. (I’m looking at you, Lev Grossman re: no one gives a shit about Fillory *cough* Narnia.)
So, what up peanut gallery? Any thoughts?
*ALL THE THINGS