by Shelt Garner
At the beginning of the process of developing this novel, I spent a huge amount of time on plot. It was a real struggle to work out the structure necessary to support the rather complex situation I had come up with. Gradually, as I got that figured out, the need to properly develop characters grew in significance in my mind.
Now, I spend a lot of time thinking through the main characters, trying to give them motivation. I also have a huge amount of reading to do so I can have a working knowledge of the things I want my characters to know. All of this takes time, however.
That’s time I don’t feel I have — and yet have to allot myself nonetheless. I want to wrap this novel up as quickly as possible and start working on its sequel, but it takes physical time to read and write. But I’m still sufficiently early enough in the process that I allow myself to be delusional. I have to allow myself to think I can actually pull this off, otherwise I’ll stop and not even get close.
One thing people often do when they know you’re writing a novel is to tell you how much you suck. They refuse that you (or at least me) have it within you to write a novel in the first place. They suggest you “write a short story” or “join a writing group.”
I’m just going to do whatever the fuck I want when it comes to this novel. All I ever wanted to do it is to have a big creative project to think about and I’ve gotten that. I know I have it within me to do something far better than people are willing to give me credit for.
But we’ll see. I just have to keep believing.