Friends, it. Has. Happened. I kind of started writing a second draft of the half-novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo last year! I’ve talked about it a bit on the blog before as Queer Bookish Novel, as it is very queer and VERY bookish (the MC is a book blogger who is also a writer, and goes to what is essentially Book Expo).
After reading a lot of posts with writing advice on starting a novel and motivating yourself to do it, one of the first things I did was to make a spreadsheet of word count milestones with rewards that I would give myself when I reached them. One of my main issues with writing this novel has been motivation and discipline–I have ideas now, but it’s hard for me to make myself sit and actually write. I SO want to be able to call myself a writer, but even that doesn’t always motivate me enough to sit down and do it. Thus, the rewards sheet has been born. I’ve already reached my 1,000 word goal, too! Next stop, 5,000!
My biggest struggle so far has been deciding whether or not to make this a grief story or just a bookish romance. I wanted to write about my own experience of having a friend die and putting that in the book, but with that, it feels like too much is going on. I’m also trying to prove to myself that not everything in my life has to be about her death, even though it still feels like it is sometimes. Still, I don’t want something in the story that just doesn’t go there or make it better.
I’m also worried that it’s too wish-fulfillment-y and not a real story. But that’s for another post and probably something I should try to put aside while I’m actually writing it.
I have also written a very basic outline of what I want to happen in my first ten chapters, which I’m considering the first act. The way I’m structuring it, based on some other people’s posts, is that one disaster happens at the end of act 2 and another happens at the end of act 3. Act 1 sets everything up, basically, and act 4 is the ending. I’m also guestimating word counts for each act to give me something to shoot for.
Another thing I am having trouble with are character names. I can’t decide what to name the protagonist, and had trouble with the best friend love interest as well. Right now I’m debating changing the MC’s name from Lyle (yes, I know it’s an odd name for a girl), because one of the other love interest’s names also starts with L, and I don’t want it to be annoying to read or keep track of.
Honestly I’m at the stage where I don’t even know if I want to write this book. I don’t think anything can come of it since the audience would be so niche, and my first chapter is just horrible. I also still can’t decide whether I want to write the friend death or not. Basically, I am at a stage of extreme self doubt and am finding things hard. I have other novel ideas that I want to work on equally or more, but I’ve wanted to write this one for so long and have been ruminating on it for months so I feel like I have to see it through.
If you relate to any of these problems or have any comments or advice, please tell me because I probably could use it.