Wednesday, October 8

Just Keep Going!

Often you shall think your road impassable, somber, and companionless. Have will and plod along; and round each curve you shall find a new companion ~ Mikhail Naimy

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?

8 comments:

  1. I do what you did. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. But isn't the "aha" moment wonderful, when you see what was there all the time? Can't wait to hear about it, Kristi!

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    1. It is, Liz, and I think it's especially sweet when the characters (or story) make you work for it! lol

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  2. I do all the things you mentioned--work on something else, take a break, try again. And you're right, it's so sweet when it all comes together and the river of words begins again.

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    1. It has been a relief, Margie, and I'm so glad it finally started!

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  3. This is a very timely post for me, Kristina. I'm going through THE SAME THING at this very moment. Love the characters, love the story idea, but it's coming out blah.

    So, I'll keep going and hopefully it'll click soon. Thank you for the motivation! {hugs}

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    1. ((hugs)) Jayne! Missed you at brainstorming!! And I hope the click happens soon for you because that plodding feeling is one of the worst. Ever.

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  4. I'm like Liz. Those 'aha' moments keep me going when a story that is more perspiration than inspiration. Good for you for taking the long view and slogging through all the muck of the rough stuff.

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    1. thanks, Rue! The 'aha' moments are so important, aren't they?

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