Monday has rolled around once again and we are now over halfway through November and National Novel Writing Month. Most of the people taking part will be over 25,000 words into their NaNoWriMo novel (or not even close if you are having a writing month like mine.) At this stage, it’s very easy to fall into the mid-book slump. Later on today, we will be hearing from Cathy Kelly with her advice on how to conquer the mid-book slump but first, we hear from the author of The Sea Garden, Deborah Lawrenson. She gives us her advice on what she does to get through it.
The mid-book slump is a genuine threat. For me, it’s the moment when the thought strikes that what I’ve written so far might all be a load of rubbish, an implausible story and so tangled that any readers will rip it to shreds. How do I get over it?
I just walk away from it for a few days. I don’t stop working, though. I keep a notebook for each book, beginning with ideas, details of characters, reminders to myself, and whole passages of writing I’ve played around with. This is the time to re-read the notebook, and keep it close to jot down my thoughts.
Because this hiatus is real thinking time – about how far the book has come (and whether it works) and where the book is going. It’s often the case that this honest, critical thinking is harder work than actually writing, but it’s often the most valuable part of the process. Never think of it as days wasted.
Once you are re-armed with a clear view of the work-in-progress, the mid-book slump can be seen as a positive.
The Sea Garden was published by Orion in August 2014. Deborah is also the author of The Lantern and Songs of Blue and Gold. For more information on Deborah and her novels, visit her website – http://www.deborah-lawrenson.co.uk/
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.
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