I think I’ve worked out why my writing doesn’t feel right at the moment. It’s not that it’s any worse than usual, or that it doesn’t flow. It feels flat, even when the sentences and paragraphs themselves have energy. I can come away from a writing session feeling like I’ve achieved something, but when I think back on it, I get a grey cloud thing happening.
And then today it hit me – it feels like I’m starting the story again, when I’m actually supposed to be finishing it off. In order to move my protagonist closer to the crescendo that is the ending of book 1, I’ve had to move them geographically. As a result, I’ve had to start them off in their world again, building relationships from scratch, finding their feet in a new town and occupation. It’s not that there isn’t anything happening. There is. It’s just that it’s the kind of stuff that normally happens at the beginning of a book when the reader is getting to know the character. Here, it’s the character who is getting to know other characters, which is having the same effect.
This realisation has been kicking around in my head all day, but I’ve decided not to do anything about it just yet. It’s more important to me to keep writing so that I find out the nuances of the action rather than to stop now and go back. I suspect what I’ll end up doing is cutting out a big chunk of what I’ve already written and pushing this part back so that it’s before the midpoint, not after it. I’ll be able to take some of the earlier stuff, chop it up and relocate it so that I can still use it. I think the story will be much better for it, to be honest.
But who knew writing could be so complicated?