Confidence

Phew – barely scraped last weeks word count. I made it to about 1400 words by Wednesday and then hit what has since been described as ‘a crisis of confidence’.

A few things contributed to this. I took a break on Wednesday evening. This was my first mistake. From now on I’ll do something everyday, even if only a re-read. 48 hours is long enough for all the momentum to fall away from an idea, so you need to revisit it

I had a shockingly bad day developing literature on Thursday. Being absolutely furious about that completely disrupted my flow. I know that sounds pretentious, but when the only thing you can think about is beating somebody to death with a lever arch file, that’s what I call disturbing the flow.

The same day I went to Graham Joyce’s masterclass on narrative structure. This was excellent. But…despite Graham’s repeated warnings not to apply the tools of narrative structure until you have completed a first draft, I of course started thinking about them in relation to the chapter and a half of half formed prose I’d written that week. What is the exposition? I wondered. Have I created a complication? What is the point of magic? How am I ever going to reach the resolution? Deciding that my story lacked any narrative structure I hit the said ‘ crisis of confidence’ at which point everything on the page started to look like the mad typing of a million chimpanzees. Eventually I just had to grit my teeth and grind out another 1100 words. Actually doing that reminded me of what I was trying to do with the story. So the moral of this tale is – if in doubt, just keep writing.

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