Well friends, I have found yet another challenge in writing. My novel is going to have a lot of memory alteration (i.e. the protag will literally just forget things that have happened). And since the novel is first-person present tense, I’m struggling between two stylistic choices: should I just tell them as they happen and she will go on as if they hadn’t or should I just completely skip the events that would be forgotten.
I know there are advantages to both. I’m honestly a big fan of the reader knowing things that the characters don’t, so that could be nice. On the other hand, there’s a scene way later that I have planned that would definitely be better if it were skipped. Anyway, I know that I’m just going to have to write it in a way that’s not completely obvious, but that’s a serious challenge for me.
I’d like to say that emotional trauma has kept me from writing more persistently, but part of it is really just trying to make big decisions like this one. I’d love to just sit down and roll out a chapter a week or something unrealistic like that but I want it to be perfect, or as perfect as it can be. For a while I was really dissatisfied with the speed of my progress, but now I understand that it’s going to take time because there these challenges. Like making every interaction meaningful, making sure the overall message/theme of the novel is present throughout, making a memorable and reasonably fresh experience for readers, etc.
But I am very fortunate for these challenges. They spark my creativity and make me approach the problems in different ways. And most of the time, my solutions seem to come out of thin air. As frustrating as that is, sometimes just waiting (like meditating or gradually concentrating) is the best way to reach a solution. I think challenges are a necessary part of the writing process, and not just fiction writing but even poetry and nonfiction. But if they’re not necessary, they contribute to a more rewarding and fulfilling piece at the very least.