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Author Dilemma: How to Finish Your Darn Book

Posted by Arthur Gutch on Thu, May 21, 2015 @ 03:32 PM

Almost every authors's got one: that manuscript that just won't end, that you can't make yourself finish, no matter what. For whatever reason, it's been sitting in your drawer or on your hard drive for a year or more, and you just can't seem to make any progress. You've got a terminal case of writer's block with this book and can't get rid of it. Instead of wasting space and emotional energy on this project, settle it once and for all. Stop telling yourself you're going to to finish it one day and get working on the damn book. Enough is enough, and you don't have time to waste on a project that goes nowhere. Get this done. Author_finish_line

Reality Check

Read through what you've already read and see if it excites you. You may have begun with a killer idea and had some great twists at the beginning, but if you can't see yourself committing to this story for the next month or two, it's time to find this out now. Is it in a genre you never read? Is the story bogging down with no way to pick it back up? Does the entire plot concept bore you? Time to face the fact that this isn't a book you want to write. Press delete, shred the pages, move on. There are better books to take up room in your mind. Don't waste space on a dog.

Make a Plan

Even if you're a pantser kind of writer, make a strict plan for this one. Decide on exactly how many words you're going to produce each day, even if it's only 350 or 500. Set down a paragraph of plotting for each chapter or section, so you have a road map through the book to the end. Even commit to what time of day you're going to work on this book. The idea is to make the work so automatic you don't have any choice but to work on it and finish.

Change Your Attitude

A lot of times writers will get stuck on books because they don't think the book is good enough. Get over yourself. You may not be the next Hemingway or Stephen King. Even they had off days. Your job is to produce a piece of entertainment. If they want to take your work to the beach and end up staying in the hotel room reading, your work is a great success. It may just mean that someone enjoyed themselves for a few hours. If you can't deal with that, it's time to drop the book now. If you're okay with that concept, write on. You're halfway home already.

Personal NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is a worldwide commitment writers make to write an entire book in the month of November. It's millions of word sprints, thousands of times a day. Commit to your own to finish this book. Set aside a weekend, a week, or a month. Give yourself an ambitious word count and stick with it. See how far you can get. You may get spurred on to finish this work. At the very least, you'll get a lot closer to finally get it out of your hard drive and into the world.

Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!


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