I'm just starting Chapter 2 of my WIP, and I'm thinking:
I'm not writing very fast.
Where do I begin?
I'm never going to get this book finished.
Is there another book in me?
Can I write this book?
Am I going in the right direction?
Am I any good? And so on . . .
I carry on stringing words together, and gradually - as if it were a new life being created from my own DNA - the scene begins to take shape. Oh, at first it's an ugly formless blob that I'm ashamed to call mine, but then slowly . . . I move a word; flesh out a description; re-write a sentence; re-locate a paragraph; introduce a smell, a touch, a feeling. I interrogate myself: What is this scene trying to convey? What does that introspection tell us about who the character is? What he's lost? What his hopes for the future are? Add a touch of backstory - not too much - just enough to give an insight into who he is, his relationship with the woman, how they spend their Sundays. Do the metaphors and similies work? Is there a variation in the length of sentences and the size of the paragraphs? Is there lots of white space - dialogue, action? Have I used active instead of passive words? - I used to have a checklist, but now that checklist is part of who I am.
And then . . . As if as if the universe has stopped turning on its axis, I think I can make out it's little fingers and toes, a nose, some ears, and then it begins kicking and squirming trying to decide what it wants to be. I re-read it a thousand times. I begin to love it. It has my nose, my quirky humour, my voice. I'm not ashamed of it anymore. I know, if I show it to people, they won't say, "What an ugly baby!"
From tentative beginnings that were mired in doubt and lack of direction, a scene is fashioned, moulded and created out of the DNA of my imagination - some mornings a writer can begin to feel like a creator, like a god!