Monday, February 17, 2014

Sometimes I Hate Writing by Christa Allan

Years ago, before the release of the movie it inspired, Simon Birch, I read A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Over a decade later, it's still on my top five favorite books of my so-far lifetime list.  (Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels is also in that number. If you've not read her novel, stop reading it now...and be prepared for a beautifully written, searingly haunting, and heart-exploding redemptive novel.)

I binged on Irving novels for a while after that until I read A Widow for One Year. Three-fourths of the way into the novel, it seemed as if he grew weary because the remaining one-fourth went by at warp speed. I remember closing the book wondering what caused him to gobble up all the lose ends of the novel with one gulp rather than allowing us to savor what remained.

Now I know.

I've written five novels, and I experience the same angsty impatience three-fourths of the way to the finish. I hate my characters; they're whiney relatives who came for a week and stayed for a month.  And when they're not whining, they're mute or engaged in a gab fest entirely unrelated to anything I ant/need them to discuss. I hate the novel. I wonder why I thought it was brilliant 300 pages ago. I want to curl into the fetal position inside a cloaking device and become invisible because, when the book releases, everyone will finally know what a fraud I am.

So, anytime I'm near the end of the novel, and I'm scurrying about like Chicken Little's twin sister, I remember Irving.  And I breathe, then call a friend who can walk me off the ledge. I make sure I have a case of Coke Zero, boxes of Mike& Ike, and I allow those insistent, annoying characters to take me where they want to go.

Sometimes, they're actually smarter than I am.

Christa Allan's fifth and newest novel,  A Test of Faith, will release in March. You can track her down at www.christaallan.comFacebook, and Twitter. You can find her other novels here.


  1. Replies
    1. So relieved to know I'm not nearly as crazy as everyone imagines!

  2. You're so funny, but I can relate. My favorite part is when I can go back over my 1st draft and make it wonderful :-)

  3. "they're whiney relatives who came for a week and stayed for a month" - this is just a terrific line. You should be a writer.

  4. What a funny post! And I love your new cover.

  5. You should not hate anything. If you hate some special things then you should just ignore that rather writing that individual things so much. visit the website to know more how to get quality writing services.