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Lost

As promised, this post I’m going to take a look back at the last time I remember being really excited about a story, what happened, and what, if anything it may tell me about this writers’ block.

In December, I was finishing up the polishing edit of BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

StormCover2

Not the most fun part of writing, but necessary. A time when I frequently let my imagination run free, because it isn’t needed for the editing process.

And my imagination rewarded me by serving up a missing piece of one of my back-burner stories–a retelling of the Princess Furball fairy tale. I was excited about it, but stayed the course and finished up with BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

Inspiration like that is a fire that burns hot–and burns out fast. Usually it’s recoverable, though, if not quite as fierce. This time . . . well, I did a little further research about that fairy tale. And discovered that the version I knew and loved was not exactly the original form. In fact, the original has some elements that I didn’t want to deal with at all.

Now, there could be a couple of ways around that. I’ll have to continue giving that some thought, but the fire was gone.

So, I tried to move on to the story I’d meant to write–or, in this case, rewrite–next anyway, MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

And ran out of steam in Chapter 6. Trying to work on MEADOWSWEET (my version of Princess Furball) in tandem with MAGE STORM didn’t work. (I’ve literally got like two sentences on MEADOWSWEET.) Trying to skip ahead to the sequel to MAGE STORM didn’t work. Trying to switch over to DAUGHTER OF THE REBEL MAGE (a Cinderella retelling) didn’t work.

Maybe, maybe what I need to do is to circle back and try to come up with some of those possible ways around the . . . disturbing part of the original fairy tale.

It’s also possible that I need to recharge the creative well, play in some other creative sand boxes for a while, or, well, there might be a couple of other reasons for low motivation to write at the moment. I’ll explore those possibilities in future posts.

 

Reset

I’ve missed two scheduled posts because I didn’t have anything useful to say. I’ve still got writer’s block. I still don’t know why. And that’s got to be even more boring for someone else to read about than it is for me to write.

What might be useful–both to me and to anyone who reads this blog–is finding a way around or through this block.

So far, all I’ve got are things that haven’t worked. Trying to power through on MAGE STORM didn’t work.

Usually, when that happens, it’s because my subconscious has recognized that there’s something wrong and won’t let me go forward until I figure it out and fix it. I have discovered one thing I think is . . . well, not wrong, but . . . off. It hasn’t helped–at least so far.

Trying to work on something else hasn’t worked either. I tried pulling myself forward by starting the next book in MAGE STORM’s series. That didn’t work. I tried starting an entirely different story. That didn’t work either–though in that case I may have been trying to shoe-horn an unripe story into an unsuitable setting. If there’s no fire, no drive at the beginning of a story, odds are it’s just not going to work. I can power through tough scenes or slow places in a first draft. But not the beginning.

So enough of what’s not working. Time to start figuring this out.

Maybe, with luck, that’ll not only help me, but give somebody else who finds themselves in this spot some ideas.

Meantime, I’m going to try to focus on other things I need to do. Some of that reading about marketing I’ve been putting off. Maybe even start that mailing list I keep ducking. Or take a whack at making this website look more professional. Definitely finish up the critiques I’ve got pending. Something useful, anyway.

Next post, looking back. When did I last feel excited about writing and what changed?

I did write yesterday. I have not written anything–yet–today. I still might.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it is just–or, at least, mostly–that I’m still finding my way into this story. A story that is not the one I had expected or prepared to be writing at this time. There are things I just need to figure out, still. And, since I don’t have any momentum built up yet, it’s hard to visualize the next scene so that I can write it. That will change with progress–and time spent just thinking about the story. Which I have done today.

I have to keep reminding myself that this is a first draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect–or even good. It just has to get the story out where I can fix it.

I may decide to skip ahead–something I don’t usually like to do–to write a scene or two with characters from the first books–characters I already know–in order to get things moving along better. We’ll see.

I actually delayed this blog post in hopes that I’d do better today. But . . . nope. I have this week off and I want to use it to start re-establishing the habit of writing every dayWell, that’s the plan anyway. So far, I’ve been slacking off.

On the other hand, I haven’t been much better about anything else. All I’ve accomplished so far is some laundry, a very little bit of mowing, and walking the dog. Otherwise . . . well, sometimes the beginning of a break is like that. But now it’s time to buckle down and actually accomplish something.

Six days left.

Late Again

I’m late posting this again today. But this time it was intentional–well, I didn’t mean for it to be this late, but . . . .

I’d set aside time to write this afternoon and I did plan to write this post afterward, so it was intentional to that extent. It didn’t end up being hours of uninterrupted writing. That would likely have been too much to hope for. But I did write. I finished the scene I was working on. And I’m pleased with that level of progress for now.

One step at a time. Forward.

Habits

I’m late getting this posted. Another habit I need to work on. In my defense, now that things are finally drying out, there’s an awful lot of yard work to be done.

Bad habits may be hard to break, but good habits are just as hard to re-establish. Prioritizing my writing will be a process, but I am writing.

I know I’ve said before that I only really get ideas when I’m writing. Bit of a Catch-22, that. But I proved it again today, when I had an idea about what may be at the root of at least some of the writer’s block on MAGE STORM

Mage Storm

I’d been trying to just expand on the story I already had written, but I’m very much afraid that’s not going to work. I think part, at least, of what’s been bothering me is that my characters–Rell, who was the only POV character in the earlier versions of MAGE STORM and Katria, whose getting almost equal POV in this one–aren’t matching up the way they should, based on where the story is going to go.

Katria is way more mature than Rell. In part, that’s okay. She’s the oldest girl in her family and, when we first meet her, has the responsibility of looking after her younger siblings. And Rell is the youngest in his family. So some disparity at the beginning is all right. But . . . yeah, I think I’m going to have to really do a rewrite, not just a very heavy revision. Just, start with a clean page–allowing myself to go back and look at what I already wrote, of course, but doing it fresh.

Well, DAUGHTER OF THE REBEL MAGE is on deck, now. And I need to just keep working, rebuilding those writing habits.

 

 

Habits

Not much progress to report. Partly, that’s because I’ve had other things that needed to be done. But, partly, it’s because over the course of this writer’s block, I’ve lost the habits of prioritizing my writing.

However, recognizing the problem is the first step. So . . . forward.