Each piece of the novel must have energy

I have to focus on what is in front of me.

I get lost in the intricacy of the structure. I have to remember that at any given moment, the reader is in the present, reading the text, and if the text is engaging, if there is energy there, that is the crucial thing. The totality of the novel experience, the ultimate outcome, is the sum total of all these moments.

Meanwhile, the reader and I must each have some faith. I must have some faith in the reader, that the reader is attentive and generous. The reader must trust the experience of the prose and by extension must trust me, the teller, that I’m not a total jerk, that I’m not being arbitrary, that I have a plan.

In order to move forward with the writing day by day, I have to have faith that if each scene is worth reading then the work as a whole will hang together even if, at times, I lose sight of every detail and every twist, every nuance and heartbreak, every betrayal and victory, every back story and every motive …