A few posts back I mentioned some of the troubles in writing a book series. One of the notes I failed on was the onset of mental fatigue, which I will highlight today.
Mental Fatigue, when to call it quits..
I describe mental fatigue as exhaustion — when exhaustion sets in the words that were sprawling and emotive suddenly halt mid-sentence before the next line. slowly, each following paragraph of narrative declines into a miserable drabble of incoherant nonsense.
One scene that stands out to me is a character of mine driving a car. he is on his way from the scene of a terrific mess of an explosion and with him is his niece. i wrote a scene before hand that i considered complete smut — absolutely no advancement in the plot besides two horny people running into each other at full speed.
When I stopped to write the next few lines, I had to ask myself,
“How are they driving a car in a world I haven’t established in one specific time frame?” then I continued to doubt my resources, “How on earth do I contain the characters to the city — if they’re driving out then they would not run into the other characters I am developing.” so I threw a wrench into my own plans, the protagonist has a mild stroke that I hand wave an explanation that the powers over the city are aware of him and are after him.
since I eliminated the characters ability to escape, I ran out of a logical progression. He’s sick — the girl he’s with is a ex-prostitute who wants to leave the city. I shifted gears to focus on another scene, a hospital with a detective awaiting word on her injured partner. Well, the detective isn’t accomplishing anything except her own thoughts — so I send her home.
In my attempts to draw all of the plot threads together for an epic showdown, I grew tired. In a word, I strived to build a tension that would not exist if these characters made decisions surrounding their survival.
Granted, everyone strives to be perfect, but the pursuit of absolute perfection is at a disadvantage,
You’re a perfectionist
Striving to be perfect—which, let’s face it, is impossible—makes you work much harder and longer than necessary, says Irene S. Levine, PhD, professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine. “You set goals that are so unrealistic that they are difficult or impossible to achieve, and in the end, there is no sense of self-satisfaction.” Levine recommends setting a time limit for yourself on your projects, and taking care to obey it. In time, you’ll realize that the extra time you were taking wasn’t actually improving your work.
Time.com – 14 Reasons you’re tired
The time limit was thrown out the window. I locked myself away in extreme seclusion from the rest of the world and focused on the novel.
Yes, I hit the 100k word count but I wrote myself past the point of exhaustion.
For the time being, I put the project on a shelf and released the contents that I have to offer the world in a rough draft of all the work I put out. In my own weird way, I also ‘retired’ the work, putting all of the documents to a vault and creating off-site back-ups so the book isn’t staring me in the face mockingly.
With that project soon behind me, I’ll work on the follow-up which is entirely different.