Thursday, 28 August 2014

Soci of Metro: Novel Writing Burnout

Over the last month I've been working almost exclusively on getting the first draft of my novel Soci of Metro completed. However last week I went on holiday to the Netherlands, and even though I wasn't able to sit down and write, I spent a good deal of time thinking about my novel, its plot, and where I would be taking it next.

When I finally began writing a few days ago, getting down my 2,000 words proved difficult. Not only did I find the scenes, the plot and the characters disinteresting, what I was writing came out cold, overly succinct and devoid of its own character, my character. Before the holiday I was fine, raring to go, excited about getting stuck into the second half of my story, so what happened?

I suspect I've succumb to novel writing burnout.

It's a familiar feeling that I've had multiple times in the past with videogames. There's been times where I've immersed myself so deeply into an incredible gaming experience that I end up craving it, playing for multiple hours a day, and thinking about it whenever I'm not playing. It comes to a point where, for reasons I don;t entirely understand, I can no longer derive the same level of entertainment for said videogame -- my mind's simply had enough. I can specifically recall this happening with Grant Theft Auto: Vice City, Dark Souls, and several Pokémon games. And it seems that the same has happened with my novel.

Despite not writing for a week while abroad, my mind had been consciously and subconsciously fixated on the story I'm trying to tell, and now it can't take it any more. In fact, during my most recent writing sessions I came up with several small ideas for short stories that I jotted down and am now eager to explore. Nevertheless, I got my 2,000 words down, but they're far from the best 2,000 words I've written, meaning more work for me during editing.

So what should I do -- work on a new short story, or crack on with my novel while the iron is hot? My answer to this question will be easy to see via the "Soci of Metro" sidebar on the right hand side of my blog. I update it with my current word count whenever I write, so if it doesn't update then I've been working on something else. Have a gander once every few days to see how I'm doing!


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