Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Getting Over the Wall

There comes a point about mid-way through writing a pocket novel (or indeed any novel) when I hit what I call 'a wall'. To me it's a bit like the wall encountered by marathon runners when half way through the long race they feel they simply can't go any further. Of course they do manage to run through it and finish the race and likewise I do manage to get on and finish my 50,000 words but it's not a nice feeling.
Now that I have written six PN I know that I will get that 'wall' every time and I'm ready for it. At this point, one can do several things: give up on the story and start something else (I did this a few times early on only to discover it happening all over again!), give up writing for a while (did this too but only wasted time), write XXX and go on to a pivotal scene or a dramatic bit that's exciting to write (this doesn't work for me as I have to start-middle-end with no dotting about) or simply wade on, scale the wall slowly and painfully and drop down the other side before steaming on to the end.
I scale the wall. It's not pleasant but if I plod on I always reach the other side and I can edit what I've done later on.


  1. Hi Carol - I have exactly the same problem. I find I often know the beginning and the end but the middle is the most difficult. At that point you have to resolve to a degree some of the original plotlines but also to introduce new ones to keep the interest going. You also have to conquer the self-doubt of thinking everything you've already done is not working out. Like you say, you simply have to keep on and keep on until you find the slope is going downwards rather than upwards. The key thing is that when someone's reading it, THEY do not notice that you were having to work hard and that you produce a seamless novel. If that's the case, you've done your job!

  2. I've been there too! It just means working to get over it and then proceeding. Occasionally, it crops up quite early and gives me the thought that I shouldn't be doing this one at all. Once over it, it steams on to the end much more quickly. Good posting!

  3. We know that wall! We are finding Sally's 10,000 word stages very useful (thanks, Sally) and think that might help us get over it.