In university I didn’t study novel writing, I studied poetry. Only a handful of my poems happened in parts, and were more text than a single page could hold. For the most part they were small, and straightforward, brash and brazen. That was the style I wrote in since I had began taking a deep interest in poetry at the age of fifteen.
As an adult I’ve developed a sickness of sorts, or maybe an obsession would be a better word for it. There is an idea, a story in my mind, and I wish to write it as a novel. Unfortunately, I don’t have the slightest clue where to begin. I know the overarching plot, who the characters are that will reside inside the story, but I never get any further than the first two chapters in the work.
I’m never satisfied with the beginning when I re-read it, and thus rework what I’ve written into something new. This idea and I are stuck in this vicious loop, that has lasted roughly three years now, and I’m quite fearful we’ll never escape it.
I’ve received plenty of advice, from the authors and writers I know, on how to overcome this issue. Write through it. Don’t reread the beginning. Start somewhere else in the story. Skip writing the beginning altogether. But I can’t turn a blind eye; when writing a longer piece it is helpful to me to reread in order to maintain consistency in tone, character dialogue, setting, etc.
And thus the loop continues.
At this point I am continuing to throw my ideas in the same place, grinding my wheels until something feels well enough to move away from. I can’t help but wonder when that will happen, and if I am indeed the person meant to write this story occupying my mind.
Still, I am faithful. I continue to dream, continue to refine and, of course, continue to learn. Hopefully my honesty and uncertainty here helps someone else struggling with a large project, or even a writing project, feel less alone in their struggles. You don’t need fancy software or tools, just your own perseverance… and probably a lot of time!