Friday, 30 August 2013

Write what you know, so they say

32080 / 50000 words. 64% done!
Dear readers, I am afraid I have a confession to make. The last time I updated you on my writing process- back in April, holy crap- I said that I was in the process of completely rehauling my novel's plot and setting, and in doing so felt confident that I would soon be back on track rather than stalled at 16k.

Famous last words.

The change of scenery did help . . . for a few weeks. Then I sunk right back into the quagmire I'd been in before: I could not write these characters. It wasn't writer's block, because writer's block is generally broken by spells of time that you can actully write. Could I put words down on the page? Well, sure; but none of them were especially good words. They were okay. They were the kind of words I'd find in a book that I would mildly enjoy while reading, and then completely forget about as soon as I turned the last page. Now, obviously not every single word you put to paper has to be GEENIUS!!!!11!! but if you don't have any passion for the subject material, you know and your readers probably will too. So while you can technically write a whole book like that, it's a pretty boring, thankless experience.

So while I was staring unhappily at my unfinished rough draft, trying to figure out how to mount the unsurmountable barrier of ennui, I decided to start a "side project" of a novel idea that I'd had on the back burner, just for something to look forward to while I was slogging away at Project A. Just a fun little dark fantasy/horror novel, a bunch of my favourite cliches tossed in to make a big ol' soup of magic and death, no big deal. I wasn't planning on making it a Big Thing, or even a Showing To Other People Thing.

Again, famous last words.

I'm not going to counsel that you should give up on your current project whenever something new and shiny pops up, because that is terrible advice. What I WILL say though is, if you struggle to break 10k on a novel and hate every minute of writing it, and then you get an idea for another one that pours right out of you and that you really like working on and are really enthusiastic about . . . well . . . sometimes your subconscious really is trying to tell you something. In this case, the message was "stop messing around with a project that's making you miserable and writing the book you want to write." Which, all things considered, is not the worst advice I've ever gotten.

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