So a huge issue that I have when it comes to writing novels is the fact that while I can sit down and write drabbles or short stories with ease, it is almost impossible for me to do the same with novels, because I can’t make myself just go with the flow and freely write. When I write short pieces, it usually starts with a general idea, or an emotion or a tone that I want to capture, and I run with that. I liken it a bit to getting lost in a wood I’m generally familiar with, wondering and running around until I find myself out again.
See. I can’t do that with novels.
I have to plot every single little detail. And then when a detail changes or I get a new idea or the plot bunnies start to run around, I feel like I can’t just keep doing what I’m doing – I’ve quite literally scrapped entire stories because I realize I want to add or change something from the original plan. It’s why I’ve written a lot of short stories – but, exactly zero novels.
The problem is, I actually want to write a novel. I want that freedom that I get when I write short stories or drabbles, but it’s very difficult when my brain tells me that unless every single tiny detail and twist is worked out, I can’t do it.
Case in point, the recent story that I started. I realized about mid-way through the first chapter that it shouldn’t actually be the first chapter… it should be the fourth, or fifth, and I have exactly one day left before my ‘deadline’ to completely re-work what I had originally started working on and flesh it out into a line that makes sense and works better.
Hear that? The screaming in the distance? That’s me.
Ironically, it’s not like it’s hard for me to write with just a basic idea in mind. It’s what I do when I ghost write – I don’t have time to plot when I have to have a fully realized short story done by the end of the week. I just… do it. Of course, getting paid for work and doing my own is a lot different than having to appease clients, but it’s not like it’s impossible for me. It’s not like I’m not used to not having every single detail fleshed out before I actually get down and to the point.
The mental block between work and personal projects is astounding.