In the 14 years I have been writing, I have only finished 1 novel with about 20 unfinished novels in the wings and a 2nd one in the rough draft stages of development. Why has it taken me so long to finish a novel? I have a theroy about that.
First, I got caught up in my first novel that keep morphing into various other plot lines and which I just wasn’t ready to let go of until December 2008. It was one of those books that should have been laid to rest 10 years ago when I finished High School and didn’t need it anymore. If you have a project like this, I found boxing it up and sticking it somewhere for a few months helps put everything into perspective.
Second, I’m a planner. Not one of those worksheet overload, over planning types of planners. But a basic planner. I need a direction for the story to go and a few points/scenes to help me along the way and I’m set. I have a very simple character sketch, setting sketches and notes about the worlds I create, along with a formatted outline which is basically a glorified rough draft. This is something I didn’t know about myself until last year.
Third, I have more ideas floating around my head then I’ll ever have the time to write. There is always this tendency for my mild ADD to kick in and for me to drop the current project for a new one. Hence, the reason that I have 20 partially written novels. 🙂 I’ve started to keep an idea folder and notebook, one on the computer and one in a three-ring binder.
And fourth, not only do I hate to let things go (abandonment issues, you know), I also fear rejection. No one fear for my house, I’m not a pack rat, but there are certian things that I just can’t let go or I don’t want to end. My fictional characters and worlds are one. Some days they are more real to me then the real world. Humm? Does this mean that I should rent out a room at the insane asylm? Probably not.
Regardless, when I first placed a piece of my work online for all to read. I was elated and nervous, this was something I wanted–I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 8-years-old–and there was that fear that my work would be rejected as so much of my writing has been over the years. Let me clarify this. I don’t fear that some one wouldn’t like my writing. I can handle some one not liking the story, its not really a personal attack as a personal preference. Its the idea that people will hate me personally for what they read in my writing. For those who think this doesn’t happen, let me tell you about the poems in the 2nd grade, the ghost story in the 6th (I think my aunt suggested my mom take me to a psychologist), or all of my High School years (I was a strange kid)….
Nay, lets not go down memory lane today. Now that I’ve told you mine reasons. Would anyone like to share theirs?