He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

June 16, 2010

MyNoEdMo Progress: HEAVY SIGH

It's probably obvious, but after my super-extended lazy weekend, my editorial schedule has gone right out the window. Even so, this week I've been plugging along, up through last night, when I persevered through writing a new scene, even though I knew deep down that these new scenes I've been writing aren't really working.

The problem is that I haven't really given my B plot hero a compelling reason to fall in love with the B plot heroine. I'm thinking that the original scenes I wrote for them -- the ones I threw out and am writing these new scenes to replace -- probably worked better. Part of the problem is that I've never really connected with the heroine, so why should I expect my hero or, more importantly, my audience to?

The simplest fix would be to just cut the B plot altogether. But I really like the back half of their story, and think it adds a lot to the overall plot (parts of it are even integral). It's just the part leading up to them getting together that aren't coming together. Maybe I need to see if I saved the original scenes somewhere and go back to them, with some tweaking to fix whatever I didn't like about them in the first place. Maybe I just need to add more scenes from Claire's POV (I realized this afternoon that she only has one POV scene in the front half of the book. No wonder I can't wrap my brain around her). Maybe I need to throw out both sets of scenes and start over starting over.

Maybe it's time to set this aside until I can join a good critique or workshop group that can help me get this sorted out. Then again, if I'm being totally realistic and honest with myself, maybe it really is time to just set it aside, period. I tend toward the conviction that it doesn't matter how "overplayed" a genre convention is, it can still serve as a backdrop for a great story and great characters. And my focus is always on the characters. But, really, does the world want or need yet another urban fantasy hero's journey tale? More importantly, will agents or publishers believe the world could use one more? Or am I putting in all of this time and work on something that, at best, will end up self-published online for the benefit of the few friends and family members who want to read it?

I have other ideas. More original, less played out ideas. And as much as I love all of these characters (even Claire), it might be time to chalk them up as practice and let one of these other ideas take over my brain and my writing time.

I just don't know. All I do know is, I'm feeling very discouraged about this particular book. And I don't think that counts as progress.

Hopefully, Cynthia, Sean and Kimberly are having better luck with their projects.


Anonymous said...

Okay, it's your blog and you're entitled to vent. Feel any better now? Good. Here's some news for you.

Write the damned story.

No seriously. Not worry about what agents/publishers/the dog down the street will think of it. Honestly what the industry is saying today is played out someone will be begging for tomorrow. Do not write to trend.

On the other side. If you're feeling burned out by this then set it aside and start something new. I know the feeling well. You spend too much time on one project it all feels like crap and you end up writing even more crap.

It does sound a little like you need to work on something new, even if it's just for a week or two. There's a beauty in being unpublished and un-represented, we can work on what we want when we want to. So take just a little of the pressure off yourself.

Okay, pep talk/ass kicking over. How am I doing? Yeah I stepped away from my story for a week. I've got everything open today and will get back into it. Why did I step away? Not sure, just did but I'm back on the wagon now.

jen fu said...

It seems to me that realizing your story isn't working for whatever reason is definitely and absolutely progress. Frustrating and unbelievably irritating, but progress nonetheless. It's a sucky decision to make, whether to abandon a project or not. The nice thing is that it's not going anywhere. You can just set it aside, and maybe you'll set it aside for ever, and maybe you'll just set it aside for awhile, but it'll still be there either way.

The first book I ever wrote is still sitting on my hard drive and it is nice to think that someday I'll go back to it and make it work. Maybe.

Anyway, good luck with your decision! Whatever you choose to do, keep working on something!

Jean Bauhaus said...

@coffee - thanks for the butt-kicking. The thing is, though, I DID write this story. Three times, in fact (twice I started over from scratch half-way through before I finally finished it), and now I'm writing parts of it a FOURTH time, and still it's not working. Yeah, I'm burned out, and beyond the ability to even tell if it's fixable, let alone how to fix it.

All is not lost, though. I can already see how the Claire/pooka romance could be fabulous standing on its own, and the current story might be just fine without them. Just, not as long.

@jen-fu - I will just say that I adore your writing and I can't wait to read your book once it's published. Thank you for weighing in on this. It means a lot.

Conclusion: I'm setting this aside for the time being and working on fleshing out one of my other ideas. Will it be forever? I don't know, but I don't have know right now.

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