Writing a novel is a fascinating experience

Novel 1

For about a month my writing routine has not exactly been on par. Sure, I’ve had my moments but they have been few and extremely far in between.

The last week of November I did what I could to keep ahead of things but I knew I would be thrown off once the operation arrived. When my prediction came true I wasn’t surprised but I was still annoyed.


My Messed up Head

novel 2

The pain pills, the rehab and the adjustments of living with a freshly new knee messed up my concentration on a high level. For a while I couldn’t turn on that switch that I had grown used to.

It wasn’t the case of desire, in fact it had more to do with the cupboard being bare. But something strange occurred last week and it made me wonder if writing is as solitary as we think.


My Messed up Novel

My current work had a giant plot hole. For months I have worked and reworked it. At times I thought I had it but in the end it became nothing more than false celebration.

For a while I tried working around it figuring this plot hole mess would heal on its own. When that didn’t work I’d spent hours failing to fix it wondering if I chose the wrong story to tell.

When the operation arrived I put everything aside. I knew the energy and the drive of dealing with my story’s mess would create more harm than good. But on the day after Christmas I forced myself to sit down in my old familiar writing spot and try again.


Weird Happenings

novel 3

I have always thought that writing a novel can be just as entertaining as the novel itself and on that particular December 26th morning my thoughts held true.

I drew out a map of the novel pointing out the pluses and minuses. Suddenly, with ease, the giant plot hole from hell appeared to have solved itself.

Unlike before, my characters found their place, the story-line eased a few degrees to the left while an unknown side character filled in the blanks.

Side character? Blank Filling? What the hell is going on?

Did the characters meet at a Portland Starbucks while I was under the knife? Or did they choose the hospital cafeteria to work out the details?

Did I mention the cafeterias outstanding cheeseburger?


Time to go to work

Now I have a story I can write. My confidence is real. Not an ounce of doubt in site. But no matter how good it feels I can’t help but wonder.

How did the story fix itself without yours truly at the wheel?

If I’ve said it before I’ve said it a thousand times: Writing a novel is a fascinating experience.



I hope 2019 is the best for all of us.

Happy New Year 2019 with colorful fireworks
Happy New Year 2019 with colorful fireworks

45 thoughts on “Writing a novel is a fascinating experience

  1. Happy New Year, Bryan! Maybe it was all the tacos over Christmas that helped you fill that plot hole? They are, after all, a magical entity. Glad to hear it’s solved now and you can get back to writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stories are like life. Messy, surprising, and, most often, independent of one person. I’ve learned that I cannot control it all. My job is to fashion the story as truthfully as possible while characters and plots live it. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve heard that recovering from knee replacement surgery is the worst replacement surgery to recover from. My dad had his hips replaced a few years ago, and the fog that followed him after the first one was real. I’m glad you’re coming out of it – good luck with putting the rest of your book together!


  4. I don’t think the story fixed itself, Bryan- but I’m often wrong. You have a lot going on and when those clouds started parting, story lines starting working again. Two, although it was frustrating, your creative brain was doing a masterful job – just needed you to get out of your own way ( gulp, I said that with love). Three, (and I’ll shut up now) somethimes we as writers don’t (including me) fully appreciate the creative process, especially in the moment- it’s not until after, as we reflect, that the bulb lights.


  5. I don’t want you to shut up, your post is awesome!!! 🙂

    When you said I needed to get out of the way my eyes opened up. You nailed it. I had to step aside. It’s so easy to forget that.

    Huge thanks for stopping by.


  6. It’ll all work out in the end … the new knee, the new novel and you did mention that wonderful cheeseburger in your prior post. I smiled when you said you felt bad for everyone who was so sick from the anesthesia and you bit into your cheeseburger. 🙂


  7. It has been said that having fresh eyes on a project helps solve all Manner of problems. Maybe that’s the silver lining after your surgery.
    That being said, perhaps I need a few months off before I start unpicking the hundreds of tiny plot holes in my novel.
    Happy New Year!


  8. Happy New Year to you! I have been working on my latest novel for about the past year…coming into the home stretch, I found some real problems. I was at a standstill for well over a month- for so long that I started writing something new, and felt terrible, like I was cheating on my “real” story. But this week, I went back to it, and some things had worked themselves out, just like you said. It’s the best, craziest thing. There are still MAJOR problems- some of my characters are embarrassingly flimsy, and, even though I can see them, my critique partners have helped me see how much work they need. But I put a lot into this story, and I want to finish it properly, tell it right. I’m so glad you fixed your plot hole, and happy to have found you here! Happy writing!


  9. It looks like I am not alone in all this and the best part of all, for you that is, you do not have a giant scar on your knee. 🙂

    It sounds to me that this story of yours is special. It is not letting you go. The characters are pulling you in and refusing to let you walk away. Now I’m curious what you have.

    Thank you for stopping by. Good to see you.


  10. Hey JM! I would have but thankfully the long layoff helped. Looking back I probably should have jumped on it sooner. I am surrounded by the best and why I didn’t ask is a mystery. Call it stubbornness, I guess. Lesson learned.


  11. Nothing more satisfying than when a plot hole is resolved! Mine usually happen right as I’m falling asleep then I have to wake up and write it all down!


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