There is sometimes too much to think about with writing. For instance, I really do like the novel I am working on, and am almost finished (10 chapters, just 10 chapters to go). But sometimes the daily line to line writing is depressing as hell. Everything seems too light. Too unnecessary. Sometimes I re-read sections in a kind of deep, slow voice to see if that helps. Other times I inject ridiculous lines in the text just to show how bad it could be. Most of the time I know that once I get to doing some serious editing (which, of course, isn't until I'm done the thing - 10 more chapters, 10 more chapters) it will come together. The pieces are there. The boring little sections where people are following one another or having senseless arguments will become brilliant. The things I feel are missing will come alive. I am certain.
Then there are other times where I assume this book is horrible and it will find a place among the 11 or so other novels I have either never finished or never published.
Then I read Libba Bray's blog: and see the horrible issues she's having with the second book in her new series. And, though it shouldn't, it makes me feel better. Libba is a great writer. Going Bovine is one of the reasons I started writing YA. And here she is, stuck - well past multiple deadlines.
It takes faith to go on. Having read of her difficulties, I think I would have quit. I would have thrown in the towel. But somewhere in there, she believes in this book.
Which is what it comes to for me as well. Do I believe in this book?
I've been watching and loving and reading about True Detective lately. The show is great. Unique, interesting, one man's vision. The creator saw this show as his one shot. Maybe no one would ever let him do anything again. Maybe this wouldn't work out, or he wouldn't want to do another show. So he put everything he had into it. And that has to leave you to think; if you're working on something, it had better be as though it could be the last thing you ever write. That's the kind of fear which creates good art. The fear that you will never be able to do what you are doing again.
So it had better be good. And that takes time.
Relatively speaking, I've only been working on this book for a couple of months. It feels like a lot longer. I believe I started it back in December. The idea had been around for awhile. Three kids whose lives become entangled one night on the St. Lawrence river. I had three or four scenes in mind, a long Set-up and a very specific inciting incident. I mapped the entire thing out, and have mostly stuck to that outline. The characters feel alive and real. The problems are the kinds which, I hope, will make people wonder what they would do in such a situation. The choices might not always be the best. It feels real.
Now just to get it finished (10. More. Chapters).
And hope it's good.