Hi. My name’s Maggie and I love coffee. I also have trouble finishing stories I start.
So remember that six-years-in-the-making novel I was talking about last month? Well, in case you’re wondering, it’s still in the making. I did hit my 70k words and for a while, the outlook seemed positive. There were a few scenes left and my characters weren’t inclined to go off-course, which should make it an easy sprint to the finish line, right? But no. My ever so wonderful inner editor chose that time to kick in and to my detriment, refused to shut up.
This is precisely why I have trouble finishing. I know something’s wrong and I just can’t find it in me to continue. Sure, I can write a bunch of stuff I know won’t make it to the final cut, just to keep the words flowing. But what’s the point, you cheating word padder? says that nasty inner editor.
So what did I do?
I stopped writing and went back to the start and EDITED.
Yes, I made the big taboo that has always kept me from moving forward. And for a while, it felt good. As I moved stuff around and fixed what had gone wrong, things began to make sense for me and my characters again. I consoled myself with the thought that the next round of edits won’t be so bad because I let the inner editor escape this time. But it doesn’t change the fact that I still haven’t FINISHED. I can go back and keep polishing the whole thing till it shines but what is the point if my story does not have an ending? No one cares about an unfinished novel, no matter how well-written.
March was supposed to be the time when I’m finished with this WIP and let it sit for a bit before I revisit it with fresh eyes. March was also supposed to be the time when I start on a new project. But if I don’t finish this one before moving on, who knows when I will pick it back up again? I can definitely sense the danger of regressing here. And so to my IWSG friends, I say:
Hi. My name’s Maggie and I love coffee. I also have trouble finishing stories I start. But word by word, with your support, I will make it to the finish line…
WIP Progress Report: 71,459 words –> 66,245 words (after inner editor) –> 73,005 (current)
IWSG is a support group for writers and we do our group posting on the first Wednesday of each month. Check out our host Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Ninja Captain’s post here for more info and to sign up.
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