So I’m at 75,958 words (having written a commendable 5,373 words today) and I’m having a little bit of a panic. I’m really enjoying my novel and (despite my previous track record) I’m not having as many self-doubts as I might usually have. In other words: I feel fairly confident about the novel and its readability value.
My problem is this: Is my novel actually any good? I guess this is a question all writers have to face at some point in their lives. Having spent the majority of the day (until about 3:30pm) in nothing but a tshirt and my underwear I’ve had plenty of time to think and mull today.
I’m reaching a climactic part of the novel in which the protagonist and antagonist are facing off against each other as tensions mount and a few of the more prominent secondary characters are unraveling the mystery in something of a side-arc. It’s at this point that, despite feeling confident in the story in regards to how I feel about it, I’m starting wonder whether other people are going to find it as enjoyable as I am.
I don’t think it’s your typical ghost-thriller, nor do I think it’s a typical crime-whodunnit either. I’ve certainly taken aspects of both of those sub-genres and they’ve affected my story, but I’d like to think I’ve developed rich characters in a world that is believable. The story is far-fetched, but I’d like it to be within the realms of some distant possibility. I’ve done enough research to know that there are real-life truths and facts behind what I’ve written, but is that enough?
On this lonely road that writers walk, how can you ever be sure that what you’re doing is worthwhile? I suppose that’s something that we will all find out eventually. It’s like driving in the dark with your headlights – your foresight doesn’t exactly extend very far and you never know what you’re going to come across in the not-so-distant future.
Writing a novel is a scary road to travel alone.
I think if there was one thing I would say I’m a little disappointed in when I look back at how the story has evolved is that I expected there to be more straight-forward ghostly elements. I’m a little worried that it’s not all that scary – in saying that, when I got around to writing last night there were points that I was looking over my shoulders as if writing about a serial killer might just conjure one up in my flat.
Anyway, I’m just checking in on the blog and getting some thoughts and feelings down in words. It helps manage them, I think. I’m going to get back to writing soon. I think another 5,000 – 10,000 words and the initial skeletal structure of the novel will be finished. I’ve already got a notebook with a mounting list of things I need to go back and add/change before I can even start editing. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t daunted – but more than that I am definitely excited.
Authorship, here I come!