Waiting for "The Call"

“Honey, it’s always crap. Every book I write is crap. It’s my job to fix the crap afterwards,” according to Nora Roberts. Well, I've got it half right. Still working on the "fixing it" part. "Trust your characters to be complex enough and to have enough emotional baggage. Force them to make hard choices." Advice from Michelle Styles that might help!

Getting unstuck March 29, 2009

Filed under: Writing and Life — Autumn Macarthur @ 1:45 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

000-title-page-detail-angel-with-whip-q75-449x500Hmm, thinking about that pitch contest and my frustrations with the current story has me ready to, well, probably not give up, but definitely take some time out. A looooong time out.

It’s official- I hate Luk and Gabi. I just want to put them in a car and drive it off a cliff into the sea, and type The End.
Well, not really. I actually like both of them a lot. But I am so fed up with struggling with their freaking going-nowhere story! I’ve done no other writing apart from their story for nearly four months, and where am I up to? Half way through chapter two, for the fourth time! Arrrggghhh!
I really do want to just stop, have a break from them. Spend a week doing no writing but lots of reading, or go back and edit last years JanNo, or play around with some different story ideas, or something. Anything that’s not this story!
But maybe I won’t, maybe I’ll keep going with it. Thinking about how I would pitch the story, not just for a contest but for my writing group,  just gave me an idea for what the story might need. Because if I can’t get the essence of the story in a few simple sentences, my plot is too convoluted and the characters’ internal conflicts aren’t central enough to the story.
Funny how giving myself permission to moan and say I want to stop produces more ideas! Looks like I didn’t really want to give up, I just wanted to get unstuck.
Hopefully this idea will make sense of things that didn’t make sense in the story once I took out the villain. He needed to go, he was becoming too much the driver of the action rather than the H and h, but then I didn’t have a strong enough reason for Gabi becoming princess to be important. I’d lost a big chunk of motivation. But this might put it back! It does require some changes,  actually it’s closer to my original premise for the story.
So it’s not a new idea at all, it’s taking my new knowledge of the characters back into my very first setting and premise, that the country Gabi finds herself princess of is one that has just come out of communism. Okay, I know all that happened years ago in the real world, but this one little country didn’t do it then, held on to the old ways, and now they want to reinstate the monarchy. That explains why all week I’ve wanted to change Gabi’s name to Emma, too. It was Emma in the original version, then when I changed the setting and situation, I changed her name to Gabriella.
Yippee! I can have some fun playing with this, I think it might just work and I can just write forward from here. I am not going back to rewrite what’s already been done! And I might just escape the wrath of my writing group’s motivational expert, who uses techiques rather like the avenging angel in the photo. I know, I know, some people pay good money for a whipping. But pain is just so not my thing!

2 Responses to “Getting unstuck”

  1. Eileen Says:

    This is off topic, but just in case you ever got curious about Stringing Words again, Helen has moved the entire site over to a new server and new address: http://wwwstringingwords.com — her new set up is gorgeous.

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