My Writing Conundrums

The last couple of weeks have been rather taken up with work and preparing for my Amdram stint in Sherlock Holmes next week. Sadly, this has impacted on my writing time and I’ve not had many opportunities to get stuck in as it were. Plus, I’ve been rather politically vocal this week as anyone who follows me on Twitter is aware!

So, here I am at the start of a very well earned, long anticipated week off work; so I have decided to get back to doing some writing as well as updating my blog. Which I promised myself would be updated every week.

I am currently twelve chapters in with a word count of 27,244 which averages to 2,095 per chapter. By my reckoning, if I manage to complete the intended 30 chapters I want the book to be this should be around a 60,000 word novel. From what I’ve read in blogs etc., that doesn’t seem to be a bad length for a first effort. Ideally, I would like to finish around the 80,000 word mark.

My biggest conundrum has always been; what length should a chapter be? When I write a chapter that has manifested as a “movie” in my head I find the words flow very smoothly and the chapter literally writes itself to a natural end.

That’s all well and good but then, there are the chapters that don’t start life that way. Typically, these are the chapters centred around one particular character. When I read them back to myself, they seem a little dull and lacklustre but to do away with them would lose a lot of work.

Should I not worry about these chapters right now and come back to them later when perhaps I may be feeling more inspired? Or should I persevere and doggedly write them to completion, even if I’m not entirely satisfied with their outcome?

Sitting down this morning to write, I decided to revisit chapter eleven. It’s dull, there’s nothing exciting in it and it flounders at the 1,700 word count. I’ve written school essays longer than that!

I’ve added another 400 words to it and decided to give the focal character in this chapter a back story that reveals a struggle with sexuality resulting from a past event.

Then I berate myself, have I written in a gay back story purely to show that I am in some way, trying to represent the LGBT community with one of my characters? (Let’s face it, there isn’t much representation for the community in mainstream publishing.) Is it relevant to the overall plot or is it purely there to give a little insight into this character’s current dilemma and situation? I think time will tell on this one, as I have an overall plot to follow but the subplots have a tendency to spring themselves on me when I least expect it.

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