“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.”
Isn’t it amazing how you can work and work on something, straining to get it right, and then suddenly, out of the blue, when you least expect it, the answer pops out? That’s exactly what happened to me with the first chapter of my YA novel.
To say that I’ve been struggling with this opening chapter is a major understatement. My office is literally littered with drafts and index cards of different versions. While it’s morphed dramatically, I’ve tried to stay with the heart and spirit that I captured in my very first take on it.
Just recently, I brought my writing group two different openings and asked everyone which they liked better. As you might guess, that just confused me more. All told, I probably have come up with about 10 different openings. I could tell you more, but it’s all making me crazy, so I’ll stop.
Then, today, I was talking with Steph, my sister and ace editor, on the phone. She had come up with some new take on it, which I didn’t go for. I explained why and we kept playing around. Then she said, “How about this?” And she came up with a few sentences that really grabbed me. They just felt right. It seems so obvious now, and just popped out from our give-and-take over the phone. I hope this is a break through, because if it isn’t, I’m going to have a breakdown — just kidding! I think this goes to show that when we fight through our frustration instead of giving in to it, we find a break through waiting for us on the other side.
Are you battling with a tough writing challenge right now? If so, just stay with it — and if you need help, ask for it! Sometimes a fresh eye is all you need. And here’s one hopeful thought: When you finally come up with a winning idea, you’ll know it. It will just feel right. Write on!