Monday, June 02, 2014

Odd Turn

My current WiP took an odd turn for me. I reached a point, after having outlined, where I don't think there's enough substance to the story. For those of you who know me, outlining is something I do to extremes. It helps me get a handle on what I'm doing with the story, reminds me where character development and emotional insight need to show up, and then I can move forward with a roadmap that will get me from point A to point B without getting lost.

Well, turns out that if I keep going at the rate I've been traveling, point B will show up a good 15k-25k earlier than it should. There's simply not enough in the outline to count as story. There are events, and there are characters who need to deal with those events. But the two things combined seem to be moving too quickly.

In his book ON WRITING, Stephen King mentions the concept of writing a first draft all the way through as quickly as possible, without taking breaks or working on another project. This way, the characters don't grow stale, and the excitement and ideas stay fresh in the mind of the writer.

Well, for whatever reason, that happened with my WiP. At first, I thought this post was about how I needed to take a step back and reevaluate what this book was going to be about. Then, as the day wore on, I realized this post is about how how this isn't the right book for me. It's a lot like a relationship. I stayed in a relationship longer than I should have, and in the end, it turned into something broken and painful. I knew, about two months before it ended, that it NEEDED to end. That's the way this book is. It's not right. It's not what it should be if I'm going to dedicate my life to it (and presumably, I should be willing to dedicate my life to any project I commit my time to).

More than that, I only have a limited amount of time. Why should I spend it writing something that's less than my best? This isn't a matter of giving up because it's hard, or moving on because it's "beyond me." This is a simple case of "this book isn't going to go anywhere, and trying to make it happen would be a painful waste of time that could send me into oblivion." Not to be dramatic, or anything, but that's a possibility.

I'm not a quitter. But I'm not excited about this book. I'm just not. I want to write something fun. Something that gets my engine revving. A book that I can take to parties and say, "That's MINE! This arm-candy is the second-best thing to happen to me."

For me, reading is fun. Harry Potter, The Dresden Files, The Parasol Protectorate: these are all fun. They inspire me to write. The book I'm querying is fun. I loved writing it, I still like reading it, and the idea of possibly writing a sequel is exciting to me.

I'm not going to write a book because I "have" to. Life is too short. I'm going to write a book that I WANT to write. And that's that.

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