I set myself an overly ambitious goal in December to finish a rough draft. I’m not sure I can even call it a goal. I’m not sure what was behind me thinking, “Gee, I wonder if I can write an 80,000 word novel while hosting family holidays and dealing with the busiest time of year for my life in general. Oh, and I’m giving myself a deadline in three weeks.”
The answer, in short, was, “Not at this time.”
Why would I even try to do that in the first place, you wonder? I was trying to get the second book in my new paranormal series done by the first of the year, knowing that I’m going to be writing a lot of Scifi in 2017 and wanting to shift into that mindset. I know myself well enough that I’m sure I’ll try something equally WTH? in the future. For the present, I’m looking at what I learned.
There are issues with that story. Issues that my subconscious needs to work through. While it does, my creative wheels will keep turning. I’m moving to the next scheduled project, which is…the second book in my Indie Scifi romance series, The Blades of Janus 😀
When I started to think about writing this book and plotting everything out, I discovered that something was wrong with it, too. There are themes that run through my creative life in reality, just like the themes that run through my books. I looked at the story and talked it through with friends, and realized that to move forward with the book I had to let go of almost everything I had planned. I’m pretty sure I’ll find myself in a similar situation with the paranormal romance when its turn comes up again.
Apparently, William Faulkner was the first to say, “In writing, you must kill your darlings.” I first came across this notion from Stephen King’s take on the quote, and was confused by it (knowing his genre, I took it a little too literally and thought he was telling me to kill off my favorite characters 🙂 ). After a while, I realized they were actually talking about the scenes, snippets, aspects of character, setting, action—anything that I was overly attached to to the detriment of the story.
I had darlings in the second Blades of Janus book. Things I really wanted to write. Things I thought sounded cool.
Things that didn’t serve the story. Things that were, in fact, crippling it.
I’ve let go of them all, and am starting from a much more open space now. I know where the story starts. I know where I want everyone to end up. I have almost no idea how I’m going to get there. But it’s going to be a heck of a ride finding out 🙂