Having started writing a novel, the enormity of the commitment creeps up on you. What have you done? An idea is one thing but translating it into a novel is quite another. The first chapter is hard enough, but in some ways is the easiest. Your enthusiasm is high your belief in the dominant idea is strong – what can go wrong?
Lots actually. If you let it go wrong. This is where the creative writer really earns his spurs. Finding your way from the succinctness of a simple idea to the complexities of a story that fascinates, is a long and arduous journey. It needs concentration, discipline and most of all courage (guts).
Sometimes the idea is easy to center in a plot that is coherent – if this happens early then ride it, write and write till your hands hurt. However, more likely, it will be more difficult and you may have many changes of heart along the way. Even to the extent of rejecting the dominant idea. Kick it out and start again. Kick it out and give up. Kick it out and, sod it, I’ll never even try again! All these are degrees of response when the going gets tough. Well in most cases it is going to get tough, some call it writers’ block, but I don’t think that’s an accurate description of the crisis that besets every writer no matter what the degree of his/her accomplishment.
It is a crisis of creativity or lack of it. We all have to be courageous enough to untie the restrictions that tie us down. This is remarkably hard to do, like walking on the edge of a cliff with a blindfold. Really scary!
Go there. Go where you’ve never been before and always remember there are no limits to your imagination. There are no frontiers, so step off the edge and see where you land.