The Struggle with Chapter Five – The Challenge of Writing Non-Fiction-Fictional Romance

It’s taking forever.

On March 17th, it’ll be two years since I started to write my first romance novel. It’s a romance-mystery. It’s fictional, but I’ve intertwined elements of non-fiction. Just to complicate my life.
novelsTo date, I’ve probably pumped out over 140,000 words and slashed 30K. Some characters have changed – some so often they have an identity complex.

It’s like a soap opera. I’ve killed people off, then decided to bring them back. Then thought, sorry. You have to go. I feel like a scriptwriter on Days of Our Lives.

Writing’s therapeutic. I’ve learn about myself. And understood other people. Therefore, I’ve shouted at and cried with my characters.

That’s what writers do. If we’re crazy enough to create people with families and towns with hotels, we have to talk with our characters. Ask them: what do you want and why did you do that?

But today – a stumbling block. I’m on what should be my last edit. The last edit before sending it to publishers and starting my next novel.

I was stuck on chapter five. A breakup flashback.
I had my ear buds plugged in. Adele on repeat. Focused on editing. And instead found myself focused on Facebook sale sites. Instagram. Twitter. Organizing cupboards. Stretching in the hallway.

In total, I wasted three hours. Just to avoid this chapter.

Because it’s heartbreaking. As an editor, you correct the errors and sentences. You detach yourself. However, not with this chapter.

Back in June, I was editing this chapter when a box of tissues appeared on the table from my husband.

“Maybe you should skip this for tonight.”

I incoherently sobbed, “But … it’s … therapeutic.”

Finally, by seven o’clock tonight, I edited chapter five. It’s finished. And my husband read it for the first time.
“So?” I asked. “What’d you think?”

He looked at me and shook his head. “This is … heartbreaking.”

“Thank you.”