This has been a wacky writing week, and a weird week in general. I’ve been feeling the sticky effects of writer’s block for the past few weeks or so, and haven’t quite been able to figure out why that is.
At first I thought it might be the point of view that I’ve decided to use for this blasted book: third point limited. For some reason, I just can’t get into my protagonist’s head. And that’s a problem, no matter which POV I’m using, because if I can’t understand my protagonist, then no one else will!
At first I thought it was because I was too used to writing in first person, something I’m told is a common rookie mistake, but then I remembered that I wrote my first manuscript in third person omniscient (so I’m not a rookie! woohoo!), but then switched to first person for my second (so I guess I am one after all?). And now back to third person limited for my third manuscript. Maybe all the switching has got me confused?
I kid. Different stories deserve different POVs, and I felt pretty certain that third person limited was the best way to tell this story. So what is making it so darned hard to write?!
Maybe because I’ve changed my writing approach completely with this manuscript. For the past two, I used to just let the words take me where they wanted and I just went along with them. I had vague outlines of how I wanted the story to progress, random scenes that gave the story some structure, but when I sat down to write, the words just flew off the page. The characters that I’d created enchanted me and led me astray, down different roads and paths that I’d never imagined. When I finally reached the end, I was as breathless as they were, in awe at where I’d ended up. And it was magical.
Only thing was, as the words were flying off the page, they were accumulating somewhere on my hard-drive. All 120,000+ of them.
This book will be different! I told myself this time. I locked the characters into tiny rooms and told them to behave like I told them to. I wouldn’t go over 100,000 this time. I would outline and plan everything down to the single period. I would be done in May. I would fall in love along the way.
But I didn’t fall in love. The characters have stayed locked in their rooms, barely uttering a peep, except maybe to telepathically tell me they want to be FREE. I ignore their cries and keep writing according to THE PLAN, but I’m at 60,000 words and the end is nowhere in sight.
So this is where I panic. I haven’t fallen in love with my story or my characters like I thought I would. I mean, I like them. A lot. But that head-spinning, time-defying, heart-racing kind of love? Not yet.
Usually this is the time I break out the candy, bust out the chocolate chips, blast on the oven, but I am TRYING to cut down on my consumption of sugared goods and baked confections. Let me tell you, trusted readers of this blog, it is HARD to write a book and be without any sugar during the process. I’m using old Disney songs as a crutch, and they haven’t failed me yet.
I’m not sure what the point of this rant is. Or even if it is a rant. Reading this over, I sound pretty calm to myself. Sad, but calm.
All I have to say is you can’t force love, trusty readers. Probably not with people, and most definitely not with fictional characters that live in your head.
Thanks for reading,