As I was rereading my second novel, seeking out that inspiration to complete it and give it a much needed title, I realized a pattern with my feelings toward my novels. The process of writing my novels is a love-hate relationship: I start out loving my characters and plot points, but increasingly grow a hatred toward everything about the novel the further I delve into it. Often, this will lead me to punish my characters in some way, whether it be killing them off or sending them off to prison. While they’re being punished, I’ll introduce a new character whom I love to start and again, grow to despise. I’m not saying I always punish my characters, I’m just pointing out a pattern of increasing dislike the more I interact with the character.
Once I’ve given enough attention to my novel and characters to want to throw the book itself out the window of a 13-story building, I’ll set it aside to rest for a few months. Both of us need that break from one another: the novel needs the break to carry on existing, and myself to clear my head and look at it with a fresh mind later on. When I’m feeling withdrawals from writing, a need to go back and see what I actually wrote, I’ll pick my novel back up to give it the finale it lacks. In this instance, I’m reading through my second novel in awe of how decent it actually is. I’m actually genuinely interested in what I wrote and growing to love it again (is this normal?).
This cycle continues when I dive back into writing to give it that completeness (that final chapter it needed, or the title to give it an identity, for instance). Only seeing what I’m writing now, forgetting what happened way back in the beginning while I’m consumed in this specific section, I start to hate everything about the novel again. Nothing happens the way I expect it to as I’m writing, leaving me distressed. I like to have a plan, and when my writing takes over, my plans end up going in a different direction. It’s not until I set it aside and look at it without doing any large changes (some simple editing here and there) that I love it again.
So here’s where you come in: How do you feel when you’re writing? Do you have a Love-Hate relationship with your characters?