The Novel Writing Spark

There’s a spark we writers feel while writing stories. That spark is the same one that causes us to write for hours on end, word after word, without pause. That’s the same spark that makes us grin like an idiot, laughing at our own jokes while we read over our work. It’s the one that throws us into a our novel so far that there’s no way out.

I started the second book to my fantasy series a week or two ago. The spark was there. Or I thought it was there. But every time I read it I winced. It was fast paced, to a point where it was sloppy and the characters were bland. Where was that spunk that was ever present in Morag, the main character, while I wrote the first book? Why was Emily, the girl destined to be Morag’s best friend, already joined at the hip with the protagonist in the first few pages? 

I needed to start over. That’s hard. You feel like you’re abandoning a baby because it’s ugly. But I did. I tweaked the outline, throwing away months of the preconceived notion that Morag and Emily would be friends from the start. Seconds later I started fresh and I’ve been writing the whole day.

We become awfully attached and even defendant of our books. It seems wrong to abandon them because we don’t feel the spark. But I felt that leaving my book to wallow around in the middle ground of okay was a crime in itself. I was cheating it out of it’s full potential. So I pulled myself together, set the original draft aside, and now the spark is there. What about you? Do you feel that spark? And how do you cope when you know it isn’t there?


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