I need to vent my frustrations, I am suffering from the novella blues. I have been writing a novella for a little under a month, in the hope that it will be all finished and edited by the end of November or early December at the latest. However I am completely losing confidence in it at the moment.
The story started off as a piece of flash fiction, which then developed into a short story. From there on it grew and now I’m pushing around 6,000-7,000 words. Correct me if I’m wrong but for a novella I know it generally has to be 20,000 minimum and to meet my deadline I have to push on and get all the words down in the next couple of weeks.
As I have imposed a deadline on myself, unlike when I took part in JuNoWriMo, I need to make sure all the plot holes are covered and that the first draft is not completely shoddy. Each evening when I sit down the words don’t sit right. Everything seems tedious and I am unsure on the pace. At times I don’t think I am even scratching the surfaces of the character’s depth. The dialogue is extremely sparse, but then I sometimes wonder whether we try to conform our writing to what you think it should be, rather than what comes naturally when writing the story.
It feels like a completely new challenge and very daunting. I am feeling very tested at the moment in regards to my faith in my story and my stamina to keep on going. Each time I read back on certain parts, it feels like I’m wading through sticky mud. My biggest problem at the moment is making the transition from sub plot to plot. The story takes place over a long time period which is probably where I went wrong. It is looking back on the protagonist’s life over the past seven years and how she came to wanting to run out on her fiancé on their wedding day. I have got the structure for the story, the key events, when things should unfold. But changing it from a 3,000 word story to a 20,000 word novella is in fact very hard.
I am going to set myself a timetable, and write at least 500 words each night between now and end of October, I should hit my word count target. In all honesty, 500 words a day doesn’t seem too bad. I’m starting to feel better already.
Have you ever written a novella and are the challenges you face completely different to those you face whilst writing a novel? How do you beat the writing blues?