I promised to report in a few times this month about writing progress. Not that I’m convinced anyone particularly cares to hear about anything other than a finished book, one they can read, but I said I would so . . .
I was making respectable progress, up until last Sunday. Then anticipation and anxiety set in and I couldn’t focus on fiction, waiting for the election to be over. And then the results came in and, honestly, that pretty much wrecked me.
I’ve probably written (and deleted) 10,000 words since the election, but none of them fiction. There are things I want to say, things about politics and civics and our basic humanity, but so far I haven’t figured out how to say them.
I’m a political person, it’s how I was raised. I don’t want to turn this blog into a political thing, but neither do I find it acceptable to say nothing. When I try to be all calm and optimistic, I sound like an apologist for bigotry. Then I write something fiery and motivational and . . . sound like I’m advocating rebellion and revolution.
Clearly, neither is acceptable. So I’m struggling. Along with everyone else I know.
Until I figure that out, here’s where I stand with the fiction writing. I’ve added 7,097 words to one novel, which is not a shabby effort for the first seven days of writing, considering it was filling in and enhancing scenes and not fast rough draft writing. But now it’s day thirteen and I’m way behind what I’d hoped to accomplish.
Perhaps worse than that, the story I’ve been working on is written with a very different and distinctive . . . attitude, for lack of a better word. A departure from my usual style. It’s wildly adventurous and imaginative and confident, which is exciting to write. Except, I’m feeling none of those things right now. The scenes I’ve tried to write since Tuesday sound horrible, like not even salvageable, they’re so out of place.
After some reflection, I’ve decided not to continue with that particular story right now. It’s the kind of thing that would take more work to fix than is worth the dubious progress. In fact, I’d just end up deleting all the words.
But I refuse to let that make me feel discouraged or insufficient. Stuff happens and you deal with it the best you can.
My way of dealing with this is to work on something else, something I had planned to work on later in the month anyway, once I finished fleshing out the first story. It’s a story that feels more familiar, more in my usual style.
It’s a romance, the second in the McIntyre trilogy, something I intend to self-publish. The kind of story I want to read right now. The one that starts like this:
The first time she saw him he was shirtless and wearing a kilt. The second time, he was wearing a custom-tailored suit and destroying her grandfather on the witness stand. She didn’t much like him either time.
That is, unless I change it.