Wednesday, October 8
Just Keep Going!
This past summer was wonderful and awful all at the same time. Wonderful because I had two book releases to celebrate and I finished and received edits (I'm learning to love them - pinkie swear) for my first SuperRomance, I saw two new covers and got to share them and drool over them. RadioMan and bebe tagged along with me to the RWA conference and we had a mini-family vacation after all the fun of workshopping and learning and meeting new friends.
But in the middle of all of that fun I was a little bit frozen and I hated it. I started a new project, something a little different for me, and while I loved it I couldn't quite find the right tone. Or characterization. Or GMC. Or, well, anything. I loved the characters but they were flat on the page. And I loved their backstories, but those backstories weren't really relating to the story I wanted to tell. I started the book. Stopped it. Worked on revisions of other books. Started the new project again. Stopped it. Worked on something else...you get the picture.
I stumbled across this quote in my planner one day and it stuck with me. I started the project again and it still wasn't right, there was still something not right about it but I plodded along. Every day I would open the document and every day I would cringe at something - a bit of dialogue that was clunky or a piece of characterization that was too stringent (and a couple of times waaaaaaay to self-aware) - and I'd fix it. Move forward. It was hard work and it was a little debilitating. I wondered a time or two if I should just give up on this story. About a week ago, during my RWA chapter's brainstorming retreat, I hit on the problem - a secondary story line that I'd missed all the times I'd started and stopped, started and stopped. It was back to the beginning and more polishing and fixing and weaving through of the new sub-plot.
This week I'm wrapping up the project and sending it to my agent. There are still a couple of areas that are cringe-worthy and she'll call me on them. But I can fix those areas because I have them now. I have those areas because although it was slow and hard and I wanted to give up I kept plodding along.
I didn't know where I was going a lot of the days I was writing this book - I know, I shouldn't admit that! - but in the end I figured it out. What do you do when you aren't sure which way to go?