Scott D. Parker
Every author can struggle with it and it's one of the two fundamental things any write must do. There are countless blogs about it, our own Joelle Charbonneau wrote about it last week, and there was a link via SF Signal Thursday about.
You simply must finish whatever project you start.
This comes from a guy who spent the past seven years starting and stopping various projects for no good reason. I'll pick laziness as my reason of the day. The struggle to get through a hard spot in a manuscript is the drudges, but it's a learning experience.
I thought of all that again this week as I near the end of book two this year and a plot idea suddenly showed up. As soon as I wrote it, I told myself, "you know, this probably should have gone in an earlier spot in this book." There was a moment, a long moment, when I sat there, fingers over keyboard, thinking if I should abandon forward progress and insert said plot point into the manuscript. Back in 2006, when I wrote my actual first novel, my reading buddies asked a question about a certain set of characters. I rattled off all that they were doing off screen. They said I should put all of that in. Well, I stopped forward momentum and did exactly what they asked for. Nothing wrong with that, really, but it killed the progress.
The decision I came up with this week was, ultimately, an easy one: Not now.
Perhaps my inner editor is right and the point belongs earlier in the book. Fine. Save that for Draft 2. This is the First Draft. And, above all else, it needs to be completed. I'm very close. I made a note and moved forward.
Progress to The End. It is the key to this entire industry. Just. Keep. Going. If I've learned one thing this year, it's that writing every single day without fail will, eventually, get you to The End. If I've learned two things, it's to finish what you started no matter what. You can tweak later. Get it on paper.
Do y'all ever stop midstream and fix something in an earlier section? How does that work out for you?