Perspective, Perspective, Perspective

Or, How I Passed the Halfway Point of a Novel Without Realizing It

The first novel I started when I decided to try writing romance also jumped out at me the other day when I was looking for what to write next.  I had put it aside for a couple reasons.  First, it happens a couple years after the other novel I’ve started (not a sequel, just the frequent romance use of a minor character getting his or her own book later) so I thought perhaps I should write the first one, well, first, and second, I tripped myself up trying to plot it and had to back off for a while to see if I had a clearer vision later.  Well, now is later, and now I just can’t see what was hanging me up:  the pieces are all there, and I know the order, and all that is missing are the last few minor details. (I think I was trying to overcomplicate the plot, but I really can’t remember why this was such a problem for me!)

I had also thought, based on where I am in my outline, that I was about 30% of the way through the book.  Not so!  After sifting through my notes–putting them in order and taking out the parts that will not be used (now that I know what the story is)–and running a new word count, I discovered that I am more like 60-75% of the way done. 

Say…what?

That was kind of my reaction.  Blank shock. 

Part of this is because I hadn’t really considered my notes in previous word counts, even though they aren’t “notes” per se but scenes from later in the story written before I get there.  Also, the last time I considered my word count was before I had a clear understanding of what the typical romance novel’s word count is.

I am…confused by this development.  Do I put everything down and try to bang out the last 30-40K on the novel?  Do I alternate it with the new story?  Do I continue to let it sit and write on scenes when I get an inspiration until I’m 90% done?  I just…I don’t know how to approach this.  I don’t have a plan for this contingency.  I am both inspired and terrified by this news.

I know the answer to all of the above questions is “Just write.” 

But what?

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