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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Novel Writing

Recently I finished writing the first draft of my first novel. It’s 185 pages handwritten and barely 100 pages typed, but it’s probably the biggest accomplishment a 14 year old girl could make. It took me awhile to start the second, mostly because I didn’t know what was going to happen. Every time I started to write the intro to the new story it would melt slowly into meaningless walks in the park and morning routines. It wasn’t until yesterday that I actually sat down and planned out what would happen in the first place. I never thought I had it in me to plan a book from start to finish like that. Afterwards I started writing once again, this time with a goal in mind. What about you, fellow novel writers? Do you like to know where you’re going while writing a new book, or do you prefer the adventure of not having a clue in the world as to what may happen?