Some Books Are Difficult

So after last week’s stellar, back in the groove wordcount, this week hasn’t been going quite so well.   I didn’t get any words yesterday.  In fact, I got negative words, as I axed the 600+ I’d written on Monday because the scene was just BLAH.  I sent it to Pot for a second opinion and she confirmed.  It was a lot of telling rather than showing.  Talking heads dialogue with some physical actions that really didn’t say anything about the characters.  We did some brainstorming last night, and something I have realized about me is that, for the most part, I have to have some kind of active conflict in a scene.  It can’t be all internal conflict or the scene just falls flat.  I don’t know if this is some universal writing truth or, more likely, just true for me.  So I had to go back and rethink what could happen that would up the stakes and be actual action.

I’ve been doing so much rethinking on Revelation.  It’s turning out not to be very much like what I originally envisioned.  And there’s nothing wrong with that other than the fact that it makes the whole process take longer because I have to keep re-envisioning stuff.  This story has just been hard for me.

Part of it is that I’m pushing my own boundaries as a writer.  It isn’t so much that the subject matter is difficult.  It’s that I am writing a heroine who is so far from being me that I have a really hard time connecting with her.  I can’t just reach into my own experience and say “In this situation, I’d do this.”  Because it’s not what Dahlia would do.  I don’t understand her.  I have a hard time understanding the situation she’s in because I haven’t been there.  Or, I haven’t been in any situation remotely similar in so long that I’ve tried to expunge the original memory from my brain.  I’m having to go WAY back, to the days before college, before I found my place, my confidence.  It’s not comfortable to go back there.  But nobody ever said being a writer was about being comfortable.

Some people might say after all this trouble, I should work on something else.  I could.  I could go with something easier, more familiar.  And maybe I will later.  But right now I’m still in a good place with the book mentally.  I still think about it in a chewing on a difficult equation kind of way.  Until it becomes a chore, I’m going to stick with it.  One foot in front of the other.

2 thoughts on “Some Books Are Difficult

  1. Even though you axed 6oo words, it’s still moving in the right direction. I’ve read plenty of books where the author should have deleted scenes, so thanks from a fan!

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