I could go on, but I don’t want to spread my paranoia cooties.
Newsflash: This happens every time I write a novel.
*Warning: The second a writer makes blanket statements like this, the characters gang up to prove her wrong and turn out to be excellent guides. I don’t want to think about how much control I assume I have, I just want to write.
The reason page 200 arrives is because I have stubbornly pursued it. I have written passages and even chapters that I know will be axed, but the number 200 quiets the critic for a while. I can breathe. Then I forge ahead with more conviction, because now there’s something to work with.
Something to work with.
This is what it takes to finish a novel. Even the most horrible first 200 pages prove that I can write probably another 200 without imploding. 200 + 200 = the most beautiful phrase: a first, full draft. Yes, there will be massive rewriting, doubt dressed in go-go boots, and even potentially rejection, but right now I can write the pants off of a novel.
At this point there are only 2 ways to look at your writing: It is OK, or it is Not OK. Anything else (this is brilliant, call the MacArthur Grant people, this is dreck, this is amazing, this is pointless) is going to stall me out.