Just what I didn’t really need today.
Summer of 2008 I wrote like crazy on a novel I was absolutely in love with. I called her Tempest. She was crazy, she was scary, she went in directions I hadn’t been before and wasn’t sure I liked, but at the same time, I believe she was by far my strongest first draft to date.
I was around 30K when I realized that something was wrong, that my MMC (male main character) was insipid and I hated him. I didn’t know how to fix him. I didn’t know how to fix the story. What I did know was if he bored me that badly, no reader was going to fall in love with him. And I couldn’t respect my FMC for doing so, either. She was way too good for him.
This caused much floundering and eventually led to abandoning the story. I always hoped it wasn’t permanent, but I just couldn’t find my way out of the doldrum. Every now and again over the past year I’ve mulled over Tempest and her beau and her problems and not come to any solutions.
Today I walked the dog. Please note that this is not unusual. I walk him twice every day and I often talk to him about my stories. Why did Tempest jump into my mind today? Not a clue. (Other than that it’s not stuffed with Chloe anymore!)
All I know is that I finally know the answer. Likely not the whole answer, but the key to getting the story back on track.
Now that I have an answer, I have a new question. Do I really want to drop ‘everything’ and finish Tempest next? Or stick with my plan of writing Green Acres book one, as has been my great desire since May? Which do I love more? Which is more salable?
Not a clue.
I usually designate one story as the ‘important’ one. It’s based on whatever I decide is important at that moment. You might think that finishing Tempest should outweigh a new story.
I decide how many words I can comfortably do for story number 1 and still have time to do a little for story number 2. Then I use story number 2 as a reward for doing the work on story number 1.
It probably sounds odd, but it works for me when I have something that suddenly calls me and I really want to work on, but I don’t want to abandon the older work and lose my focus on it.
Hugs? Good luck with whatever you decide to do, Val.
Tough spot to be in, isn’t it? Especially with so much else going on around you. Even in writing, even when it’s about writing, a plan is nothing more than the best guessed order of events: it requires revamping and changing.
I experienced something similar with a story I wrote in 2007. I’m planning to get back to it after I complete my current wip (which is in a similar state of floundering, I might add.)
Hugs, Val. But I think it speaks to your development not just as a writer, but as a reviser that you’re able to see your way through Tempest. Whichever you decide, there will be time for the other later.