If your first novel is driving you demented, stop and write a second novel. Even the act of writing the first draft of a second novel can be liberating. It tells you that there is more than one story inside you and you have the capability to produce it.
Now it doesn’t mean that you will give up on that first novel but you need a break from it and what better way to take a break than to keep writing, using the second novel to sketch out new characters and settings and plot ideas.
I was so stuck on the first novel. It dragged on for over a year and a half after I completed the first draft of it. But after writing the first draft of a second novel, I can say I’m glad I put that first novel aside and showed myself that I can write another novel, rather than what I was limiting myself to in the first novel.
Only you can judge what you want to do next. Stop with the first novel or stick with it. You know exactly what stage you are at. But if you are stuck, really stuck, and have been for a while, trapped with no pass in sight then you need a break.
In April, the Nanowrimo team are running Camp Nanowrimo. A whole month dedicated to writing a novel with support and pep talks from the Nano team. If you are still trundling along with the first novel by then, give yourself a break and let another novel or story flow from you during this month. It’s just one month, you deserve it, and you can go back to the first novel afterwards if you want to.
(I mention Nanowrimo because it gives you pep talks and you feel like you’re writing with other people and you get goals… and whatever, it made me write last November…)
Anyone I’ve told about Nanowrimo says ‘I can’t write 1667 words in a day’ etc…but this is not writing with editing, this is writing with the inner critic switched off. This is writing with only one thing in mind – What happens next?
So what happens next?