I spend a lot of time here talking about aspects of the writing/publishing process that I feel is relevant (and interesting) to other writer’s. Sometimes I ask myself -- “Self, why is this relevant and/or interesting?” I mean, who am I to decide that? What I’ve concluded is that although I haven’t been published yet, I’m what you would call representative. I am the Average Joe of the writing community. If writers were grouped into a consumer category, marketing firms would be tripping over themselves to have me participate in their focus groups. What I like, usually everyone else (writers) likes. What I struggle with, a lot of other writers struggle with.
Take today’s topic for example. In every book I’ve tackled there’s always been at least one particular scene/chapter that causes my anxiety level to rise when I think about writing it. Trepidation is what it’s called. It could be a scene/chapter that involves intense emotions…or high tension…fast paced action…or deep retrospection, but whatever the challenge is – it concerns us because we’ve never gone there before. Have you experienced this? My money is on the answer being yes…and I’d be willing to postulate that if the answer is no, then you haven’t written your best work yet.
I just finished one of these pivotal chapters this past weekend. How’d I do? Let’s just say there was a smile on my face at the end of that session. I feel it’s these kind of chapters that really define our work and the type of writer we want to be. Wherever you set the bar, clearing it with space to spare is what fills us with pride. And the next time, the bar will go up a little farther and the butterflies in your stomach will turn into twin-winged WWII fighter planes. That’s why you always hear the advice – no matter what, keep writing. While you’re surprising yourself with each pivotal chapter you churn out, the quality of everything you produce rises right along with it.
What about you? Care to tell me about your last pivotal chapter?