May 26, 2010

The Dreaded I-Can't-Finish-This Syndrome

As I nervously await Jim's revision notes, I've been trying to finish the rough draft of my YA dystopian. (Yeah, yeah, I know that everyone's working on a YA dystopian!) I started writing this book back in February and I'm about 80% of the way there. But...

I can't seem to finish it.

This is my first foray into the Young Adult genre and I'm kind of fumbling my way through this process. Does the romance feel real? Is the world-building fresh? Am I nailing the all-important YA voice? Alas, I'm overwhelmed, which causes a lot of mental blockage. Plus, I'm continually plagued with the idea that this novel has some serious plot issues. *Le sigh*

I don't know about you guys, but I always hit a major road-block whenever I near the completion of a novel. I have no idea what it is! For some reason, I start out a book with so much enthusiasm and energy but it all seems to pitter-patter away once I see the finish line. All of a sudden, my brain locks up and my fingers freeze in place. I write a paragraph then I delete it. I gnash my teeth and flail my arms.


Does this happen to any of you? What do you do when your novel wants to wrestle with you? Any advice?



  1. I hear ya!!

    I get stuck the same way you do: YA voice, romance believability, the works. My tip? Take a breather. But don't get too comfortable! *grins* Seriously, just back away from the computer and jot down ideas for new or better scenes. Brainstorm without laying a finger on your keyboard. You'll be dying to get back to it after a while :D

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  3. I hit a major freeway pileup when I finished my first novel. I rewrote the ending three times- just what happened, not cleaning up the writing. So I definitely know what you mean.

    I've just hit my stride to finish my second book and I'm hoping I don't hit a similar roadblock.

    Good luck!

  4. i have nothing. i have a hard enough time finishing a blog post. but i think the advice above to take a breather is good. always helps to take a break for whatever it is you're doing.

  5. Amparo, awesome advice! Yeah, maybe I should take a couple days off and let my brain rest. That might be what I need to finish the book! (Hopefully!)

    Stephanie, it's nice to know that other writers have these roadblocks as well! Best of luck with finishing your second novel!

    TJ, thanks for your comment, too! I'm thinking maybe I should concentrate on writing articles for a little while and letting my creative juices regenerate. Thanks!

  6. You? Writers block. NEVER.

  7. I'll second the call for rest. Sometimes the brain just needs time for the subconscious to work out the plot problems.

    Have you gotten your revision notes yet? Mine aren't coming until next week now, since my agent was swamped with BEA stuff to do. Honestly that is ok with me, since I wasn't going to be able to edit over the weekend anyway and it would have driven me crazy to have the notes and not be able to work on them!

  8. I'm still waiting for my revision notes too, Lynn! Anxiously awaiting them... :o) I think Jim was swamped with BEA as well--it seems like everybody was!