Progress or no progress

I have heard that many authors say they always throw away their first chapter and previously I would have agreed with them. In fact I started a novel ages ago and the first chapter was just awful. Actually the whole thing was awful. It had seemed like a great idea in my head but trying to get it out and on paper it just fell apart. I have had similar experiences when trying to draw or paint something. Inside me I can see this amazing picture and then on paper it turns into an embarrassment.

That earlier novel did not get completely abandoned, however. It eventually emerged as a short play script and finally a short film script. The original book attempt lies buried in shame in a drawer. I am unable to actually throw away anything I have written.

With ‘Invisus’ it has been a different experience so far. The main factor in this is that the ideas for the book had been wriggling around my conscious and subconscious mind for a while, and then a first sentence came into my head. And I liked it. I really liked it. This meant that the rest of the first chapter had to be good enough not to get binned and I hope I have achieved that.

However, the last time I sat down to write I felt I was struggling. The words did not seem to flow. Sometimes I write a sentence and feel quite smug that it came from me. But this time I wasn’t so sure. I was interrupted by a phone call (strangely just as I had typed the word ‘phone’) and I decided this was an indication to stop. I had only managed a few hundred words and it remains to be seen whether they stay or go. I will need to reread them next time but I am not confident. I may just leave them in for now and look at them again later. I am too prone to allowing myself to get entangled in over thinking so it is probably best to move on and worry about it later.

So I don’t know whether that was progress or no progress but the main thing is that I spent time writing and without doing that there won’t be a book.

BTW I found the quote I mentioned in the first blog and discovered it was only half a quote:

‘Everyone has a book in them.. and in most cases that is where it should stay.’
Christopher Hitchens

I hope I am not one of the ‘most cases’


About Verity R

Have had several different career paths but alongside them I have always been writing as well. I think I always will.
This entry was posted in Book, creativity, experiences, novel, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Progress or no progress

  1. Dave Ward says:

    Don’t get entangled in over thinking! I frequently find that what I wrote first makes most sense and best fits the original concept. Let the words flow, keep the style consistent and quit each time you’ve reached your peak. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the prose. if it flows like your blog then anticipate something good.

    • Well said Dave Ward. My first three books flowed without incident. The fourth never went anywhere and after completing chapter 16, I gave it up. Didn’t write another thing for 12 years. But now the, all the words in me that must have felt bottled up, and have come forth, making writing a joy. Thank you for posting ‘Writing invisus’. It reminds me that I am never alone.

  2. I still have my first novel sitting somewhere in my laptop. I haven’t looked at it since the day I finished the first draft and probably never will. The whole thing was just awful.

    Unless your plot gets stuck, I would suggest just steaming ahead for the time being and worrying about editing later. I’ve found it better to get the basic story down before doing anything else.

    I wish you the best of luck with your book.

    • Verity R says:

      Thank you. It is good to have someone say that as it is easy to feel the need to obey all the ‘shoulds’. It is a huge achievement to have finished a novel, I am still far away from that.

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