Why It Takes So Long

After writing yesterday and while preparing to write today, I was reflecting about why writing is so hard for me, and why it takes so long.

The other morning — Thursday, I think, not really important, though — a muse laid a scene out for me. It was a revelatory moment for the novel in progress.

Whoa. Excitement jumped me like Olympians taking the hurdles. Great scene. I saw it all.

First, though, I saw it with characters that didn’t exist yet. Of all the confounded characters who’d already arrived, this was a new batch, in a new setting. Okay, cool, no problem. I saw how the scene and characters (and their baggage) fit into the novel. I could deal.

I began writing. Well, new characters need some kind of understanding about their traits, principles, and back story. So I mulled that while writing. More details to the general novel were discovered. The bible was updated with these new characters and the setting. All of it was a stimulating exercise.

Meanwhile, I kept writing. Things the muse hadn’t shown me before were revealed. I dealt with those details and kept going, exploring this new territory. I’d write some, go off, do chores or take a walk, come back and write, eat, go off, etc., repeat.

This morning, I thought, alright, I’m almost in sight of the revelation. The original scene still hung like a jewel before me, beckoning on. As I approached it, though, I put it all on pause to look.

Damn, thirteen new characters (five of them fleshed out as more than minor characters), their relationships, and three new facets of perspective via history and organizations. Four chapters, five thousand words. That doesn’t include the bible stuff.

All that to get to one scene.

Which is how the whole fiction writing thing works for me. See something, invent something plausible to explain how it fits, wedge it in there, and begin connecting it to the other stuff.

But that it takes so long, and why writing is hard work for me.

Got a fresh cuppa coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

11 thoughts on “Why It Takes So Long

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  1. Wow, I’m glad that I’m mostly a pantser then, because my method involves just writing, painting myself into a corner, then cursing as I come back for the second draft, fixing major plot holes and flat characters. Maybe I should try outlining. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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