Sunday, February 21, 2016

New Book Challenges: Shouldn't it be Getting Easier?

Wow! What a difference a week makes. Last Sunday, we were freezing our a**es off up here. This week,the temperature is 34 F, and we've had it all.--freezing rain that coated trees in ice, snow, and now we're looking at flooded basements and guess what? More snow.

But the weather isn't the only thing not cooperating this week. My newest work in progress is giving me headaches. At this time last week, I had close to 70K words done in my WIP. Today, I'm down to less than 30K. That's right. I've scrapped more than 40K words because they didn't "feel right" and now I'm wondering if maybe the entire premise of the story is the problem--because, believe me, there is a problem. My characters can't decide which way to go.

This has never happened to be before, and I can't quite figure out why it's happening now. I know people with an outline will say I didn't plan it out right, but since I've never done that before, why would I do it now? Different strokes for different folks. In the past my characters have been focused, striving for a goal and heading there, albeit by circuitous routes, but they knew excatly where they had to be and when they had to be there.

As most of you know, most of my books are suspense novels, but this time I'm trying to write a contemporary romance with humor in If you've read my books, you know this isn't my first attempt at contemporary romance. My two short stories: There's Always Tomorrow and Forever and Always are contemporary as are my Christmas stories: Her Christmas Hero, The Best Day Ever and Come Home For Christmas. My two holiday novels, Holiday Magic and The Perfect Choice fall into that category as does one of my top selling Crimson novels, Just For the Weekend. So, what's different with this one?

Me. That's what's different. I'm the one who isn't as focused as I should be. I'm second guessing myself, something I've rarely done in the past. Why? Because for the first time in a long time, I'm doubting myself and my abilities to bring the story I envision to life. Can this be a by-product of my recent crisis in faith? Maybe. I always thought my ability to write was a God-given talent, and if I doubt some of the things He's allowed to happen recently, why wouldn't I doubt that too?

It feels odd not to be getting ready for church, but my heart is still sore and angry. I spent time with my friend and minister this week, and I wish I could be as forgiving as she is, but I can't. There's still a darkness in me that isn't ready to let go of the hurt, and I think that's the problem. How can I write something "feel good and light" when my mind and spirit are at the opposite end of the spectrum?

So, for today, I'm going to set aside my wip and do other things--groceries, tidying the house, babysitting grandkids, and maybe even attend one of my grandson's basketball games. Hopefully, with time way from the draft, I can  find my happy place again, and when I come back to this wip, I'll be in the right frame of mind to make it work again.

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