Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Writing Fear

I've too'd and fro'd SO MANY TIMES about character #4 in my new novel and her plot it's not true.

And I'm still not sure which plot to go with.

I have plotted one idea in some detail and know it'll be as interesting/enjoyable to write as the plots for characters 1,2 and 3 but I'm not sure how well it fits the rest of the novel and the plots of the other characters. Their plots are reasonably straightforward and quite 'normal' whereas the plot I've got in mind for character #4 is a tiny bit 'out there'. And I'm thinking "Will the reader buy it?" or will they think it's just a bit too outlandish?

And I can't help but wonder what agents will think of it (even though everything I've ever read said you should write the novel you want to write and not think about readers and agents and publishing). But I don't want to spend months (or years) of my life writing a novel that won't get published.

I feel like I'm going round in circles and can't make a decision.

I've got writing fear.


Yvonne said...

Ye Gods, the writing FEAR is the pits. I say - go with your gut. You might think it's outlandish, but that's why people read books - to experience something completely different, to escape. I love reading books that are slightly quirky and where the writers have taken a chance.

But I'm not a published writer so I might be wrong...but you don't seem to be the type of writer who just writes purely for themselves and goes off on multitudes of tangents. You seem very clued up about the process and you always keep the reader in mind - so you deserve a crazy character that will be fun to write!

B said...

I was going to say go with your heart, which is effectively the same as go with your gut :)

Would it be possible to leave character 4 out of the first draft and add her in later? Possibly not, but worth considering.

And remember 'what makes your lack of confidence so special?'! I'd just get writing. You can always redraft later if necessary. Don't drive yourself mad in the meantime - you'll just spoil the writing part for you.

DOT said...

I agree with Yvonne and B.

I find that over planning can kill the creative individuality of writing. (Others will disagree I am sure.) For me, the actual spark is ignited by the process.

Funnily enough I was just writing on something similar for my blog.

The only thing you have to fear is the Book Vampire.

Bernadette said...

Think how you would feel if you showed the oulines to someone you trust and they said "Hmm - think number 4 is a bit iffy."

Would you think "Yeah, I knew that really. Better change it." or "Well, yes, but.." and think of a thousand reasons to leave it as it is.

You'll know what to do.

L-Plate Author said...

Something I was told recently Calistro (and actually hadn't really thought about it that way) was that if there are too many characters there isn't time to get to know them all? I've certainly found it useful and it has stuck in my head when I write now, just how much will my reader know each of my women? Will they be able to empathise with them all or will there be too much plot? I've just taken one character out of the new book two I'm planning.

Not sure if this helps? xx

Jessica said...

I forgot to write in the anniversary post but reading your blog has inspired me with my writing. So now I've finally got around to doing my own.

Jessica, (formally ebaystudent)

Debs said...

I think that sometimes we think so hard about our novels that it can get rather confusing. Certainly does for me, anyway.

I think you should go with your gut instinct. (I'm saying this not knowing what my gut instinct is telling me about mine at the moment).

KAREN said...

My gran used to say 'if in doubt, you can do without.' On the other hand I think it's sensible to consider what agents might think, purely from a business point of view because that's what it is to them - up to a point. On the OTHER hand (good job I've only got two!) gut instincts are wise old creatures and shouldn't be ignored. Confused? I know I am :o)

HelenMH said...

I think anything that makes your novel stand out from the rest has to be a good thing. The 'out there' plotline could be your USP!

Gonna be a writer said...

I know it;s not much help butI would say go with whatever feels right. Thinking too much only makes the brain ache.

Tam said...

As I'm always telling TD, different is good! Go with the unusual :-)

Pat Posner said...

Are you worried character #4 might take over from the other 3 if she's a bit 'out there'?

Would it matter if she did?

Will having her outlandish help to show the good and/or bad aspects of the other characters - would she act as a relief and 'lighten' dark or serious moments?

In TV they used to call such characters 'tweenies' the audience knew whenever the 'tweenie' appeared something silly, funny or different would happen and so looked forward to the tweenie appearing.

As long as she's got a love-able side to her outlandishness, I'd say go for it.