Those wretched crows of doubt have been back again today, circling!
I seem to have ground almost to a halt on James and Cassie’s story. The romance writing workshop last Saturday was fab and stimulated lots of ideas for strengthening my plot, but I can’t seem to actually write anything. I’m finding it’s getting progressively harder to write. When I started writing again just for fun, I wrote more and better than I am now, after so much writing and workshopping and planning. I think I am falling into the trap of needing to “get it right”, and it’s paralysing me. I keep telling myself to just let it rip in first draft and fix all the faults later, but it’s simply not happening for some reason. I know I can write a whole first draft in a month, and yeah sure, it was total rubbish that needs serious work in editing, but I’ve been struggling for 2 weeks with a first chapter on the WIP that is still total rubbish and will be almost all thrown out in my second draft!
I’m not sure what the best way to deal with this is, whether to keep wriitng and hope I push through it like a rmarathon runner when they hit the wall, or to give myself some time off to read, relax, hang out on wriitng boards, and just recharge.
Part of what’s stopping me write is changes in my life too, which are affecting my wriitng time and have been an additional stress this week -like I didn’t already have enough! The question of balance is a tough one, we are all juggling so many competing demands. I wrote pretty obsessively for the first few months of the year, but now I’m thinking I really need to spend more time with my husband, more time doing other things I love. I don’t think it helps us be good writers if we are neglecting the other things in our lives. Does it matter that much if the book is finished three months later than it could have been?
This is a weird one, but it also occured to me that maybe doing the morning pages is blocking me too- my subconcious is thinking, ‘Okay, that’s it, I’ve done my writing for the day, don’t need to do anymore.’ Hmm. Might experiment with that one. I also read a long time ago that talking about the story or writing about the story could sometimes again make the subcounscious think that the story had been told and that it didn’t ned to write anymore. I don’t know about that, because otherwise plotters would never get anything written!
I’m hoping that my story is somehow simmering away beneath the surface when it looks cold and lifeless, and that the words will come in a burst. My hero is the real block in the WIP. James is supposed to be alpha, but every time he opens his mouth he’s nice. He’s powerful, determined, rich, and stubborn about getting his own way; but he doesn’t use people, he asks rather than demands, he has good reason to be cynical and he guards his heart closely, but he doesn’t act like a bastard because of it. I’m trying to make him be who he’s not, to fit my idea of what a Presents/ Modern hero should be. I just have to write him as he is, and see what comes out, I think.
I’m not sure yet where the “home” will be for my stories. I do like writing more sensual stories (not anywhere within shouting distance of erotica, but the bedroom door is definitely open!), but I just can’t get a grip on writng the Alpha hero. I think because in real life I’d run a mile from that sort of guy, and if I can’t write a hero who I can fall in love with, he’s not going to affect my readers either. I read a psot on Tote Bags and Blogs today about the attraction of the nerd. I have to say I adore the more nerdy type guy- and I married one! He’s still the sexiest man alive for me, so let’s hear it for the nerd! I had crushes on few Alpha-ish types when I was younger, but now I say give me a man who is smart, funny, great in bed and who adores me, even if his hairline is receding, his waistline is expanding, and he needs reading glasses! Okay, I doubt anyone else would want to read a story with my husband as the hero, but maybe the reason I’m struggling so much is that I’m trying to write Alpha heroes, and I need to write the oh-so-sexy, guy-next-door-only-better Gamma male instead.
Scared off the crows by flinging a handful of stones at them, going to the shops to buy a half-dozen Mills and Boon “Romance” stories (the pink cover ones that have been through so many incarnations- Tender, Sweet, whatever else they were called), as I haven’t read that line for years, and wonder if that’s where my stories belong. Also read an excellent article on Scene and Sequel here, thanls to Claire Baxter recommending it on e-Harlequin. It’s worth a read, beacuse it looks at pace, at deepening tension and emotional intensity, at POV- just about everything, in one brief article!