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writerIt’s becoming clear that my novel doesn’t proceed as smoothly as I hoped – at least, not since I hit the 45000-words mark.

After that there was London, and after London there was a snag, and after the snag there was Easter, with a bunch of relatives and guests descending on us, and after Easter…

Well, after Easter I’ve started writing again, and I find I have to build my momentum all over again.


But this is hardly the worst.

The worst thing is, I can’t seem to decide how the dickens I want to tell this story. Oh, the story itself is clear enough, reasonably outlined, with elbow room for surprises, turns and twists, so all is good on that account – or as good as can be expected for a first draft.

My trouble comes with narrative choices. I’m dithering between two sets – let us say, to make it simple, a fairly straight third person and a combination of first and third – and dithering, and dithering.

I tried both to some length, and thought I had reached some sort of decision, then changed my mind, then changed it again… Right now I’m shifting between one and the other as mood and whim dictate, and every time I change from first to third or vice versa, I have a little eureka moment – until the next shift. Because the bitter truth is that I really like it both ways, and both work well with the story, each has its own set of advantages – and if it were otherwise, I wouldn’t have all this trouble deciding, would I?

And to top it all, a new nice notion for yet another possibility just dawned on me – and it would only apply to sections of the thing, but guess what? I like this one too.

And mind, it’s not like me at all. This is hardly my first novel, and I have had doubts, hard choices and dilemmas before – why, heaps of them – but nothing that a reasonable mix of cogitation and experimenting couldn’t disentangle.

This time… This time, for some reason, it is different. I dither, and dither, and dither, I spend a lot of time on it that could be used in actual writing, it’s maddening, and revision – if and when I make a choice – will be sheer insanity.

So, this is how things stand right now. Shall I get through? Shall I see the light? Shall I get a grip and write ahead already? Find out in the next episode of The Adventures of Clara, the Dithering Scribbler.

Or, if you have any word of wisdom, please share.