When I am not writing my debut novel I like to transform into the ‘Blonde Creative Agony Aunt’
I help troubled writers resolve nagging issues.
My qualifications for being a ‘Blonde Creative Agony Aunt’ are:
- I am blonde.
- I like to talk a lot.
- I like to give advice on things which I don’t know much about.
- I consider myself to be a very creative person. (sigh!)
- I am not very sympathetic.
Here is the email from this week’s troubled writer:
Dear Blonde Creative Agony Aunt
I am 44k words into my draft novel and its brought on a low mood.
I was jubilant when I reached 10k words, over the moon at 20k words, a bit chirpy at 30k words, a little quiet at 35k words and at 40k words my mood sunk!
I am tearful, moody and a pain to be around. I mope about the house like a lost soul.
My supportive loved one has told me to get a grip of myself and my mother keeps asking me whether this gloom is related to an erratic hormonal cycle.
I keep emailing writing friends really long and emotional emails. Some are over 1000 words long. My writing friends have stopped replying. Some say they are going on a very long vacation with no human contact for many months.
I need to know whether my low mood has anything to do with my draft novel?
Please help me!
Thanks in advance
A frantic brunette writer x
Response from The Blonde Creative Agony Aunt:
Good grief you are a barrel of creative laughs! After reading your email my own mood sunk. I found myself yearning to go do some editing of a stinky first draft. Your low mood is rubbing off on me.
Those poor, long suffering writer friends….
Anyway, moving swiftly on. I enjoy being the bearer of bad literary news so yes – your low mood is connected to your draft novel stage.
I like to call the 35k-50k word stage – The Moody Middle!
This is a troubling writing stage where you realise that your book writing honeymoon is well and truly over!
Writing fatigue sets in and so does what I like to call draft boredom. You and your draft have, by this point, spent too much time together and you are fighting literary boredom. It’s very much like a relationship with a loved one.
You are writing the middle of the book, so you are also busy adding book filler. I reckon you are thinking to yourself ‘my readers will probably prefer to sit and watch paint dry than read these bits’. For noting – yes you are right – sigh!
The writer fatigue, the boredom and the self doubt are all fuelling your emotions which brings on a low mood.
My advice – spice up your middle! This works for you and for your poor readers.
Here is some literary spice which works for me:
- Kill a character. It will get a reaction out of other characters and your readers. Make the death interesting so that your readers talk about it in their coffee break at work. Make friends with a couple of crime fiction writers as they know a lot about interesting deaths.
- Add some romance. A firm favourite of this agony aunt. Make it the type of scene where they lust after each other but cannot do anything due to circumstances. Weave in some lip biting, hot flushes and smouldering gazes. This will drive your readers potty and it will certainly put a smile on your face.
- Personal crisis. Spice things up with a personal crisis for your main character. Its always enjoyable writing about others going through hell.
I guarantee that after adding some literary spice you will find your mood lifting.
Email those writer friends once you are sailing past 60k words and I bet they will all be back from their long vacation. It’s amazing how writing friends all go on holiday at the same time.
Take care my frantic brunette writer!
The Blonde Creative Agony Aunt will return next week to help another tortured creative soul.