Books · literature · Writing

The back up novel

Since I was young I have written stories. It is only in the last 10 years that I started seriously writing novels…you know with a beginning, a middle and an end. Well, a beginning at least. My laptop and half a dozen notebooks are filled with the roots of a story, the characters that inhabit my imaginary worlds. A couple of years ago I saw a story all the way through to the end, and since then I always endeavour to plan and finish what I’m writing. However it’s not always that simple.

Last March I wrote an entire novel in just under five weeks. Quite a feat for me! But sometimes it can take months, you hit brick walls, or a character keeps changing direction…you get stuck. The same goes for the in between times, when a novel is finished and you’re searching for the new one. However, you know that the rule of write club is to always keep writing. My blog helps, and poetry. I make sure that I write everyday. The other trick is to have a back up novel.

Years ago, I created the bare bones of a story. At the time I just needed an environment to put two characters that had been floating around my head for a while. They had a back story but no real place in anything I was writing. As time went on, I found myself returning to it, a chapter here, a chapter there. Nothing ever really coming to anything. Now it has become my back up novel, my in between place, so that I never stop writing.

It is made up of five chapters, in no particular order. They’re just parts of a story that might never be realised, I dip into it sometimes, sentences or paragraphs, sometimes entire characters.  I experiment with it, I put my emotions in it when I need an outlet. Scenes that occupy my mind but have no place in anything else end up in there. Some of my best and worst writing is in that story. 

I bring it up now because it is only now that I’ve realised exactly what it is. Before I thought it was a novel that I had every intention of completing but now I know that it never needs to be. It doesn’t need an ending, it’s not something I need to see through to the end. It’s my back up novel, the one I use when there is nothing else.

Do you have something similar? How do you continue to write when nothing seems to be working?

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2 thoughts on “The back up novel

  1. This is a great idea. I have so many novel ideas that when I get stuck, I just work on something. I have a pretty large pile of unfinished novels, but I’ve completed six first drafts. So no complaints here.

    Liked by 1 person

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