Monday, December 12, 2011

Roadblocks and Re-assesing

A week ago I blogged about the need--especially mine--to make a habit of writing each and every day.  Except maybe weekends.  Today I'm here to say that my determination to begin to make that habit came to a screeching halt.

Something didn't feel right, but I went ahead and started working on the synopsis for a proposal I want to submit--before the official holidays begin and no one is around to receive submissions.  I hoped that maybe if I pushed ahead, that feeling--caused by my own lack of belief in myself--would either go away, or the simple act of forward movement would take care of things naturally.

Wrong.  On both.  As I worked on the synopsis, seeing scenes in my mind, I hit a roadblock.  There it was, smack in the middle of my plot.  It was probably there all the time, but I didn't want to see it.  Fortunately (or unfortunately), writing a synopsis is good at revealing what we refuse to acknowledge.  This time the problem centered around the heroine and what had happened in her past to make her feel and react a certain way.  I thought I had it worked out.  I didn't.  It took several days, but I finally found what she (and I) needed.  I was almost ready to move forward again with real writing, when I talked to a published friend, who recently received revision notes on a book in the same sub-genre as mine.

Uh-oh.  I had another problem.  Was the story too dark?  Had I put my characters through too much, especially before the opening of the story?  Did I need to lighten up a little and give at least one character a little slack?

I still don't have the answer to that, but I'm going to beg for a few minutes of my friend's time, give her a quick overview of my problem, and see what she thinks.  Any other time, I might have busted through the roadblocks without too much thought, but this time I'm treading on new ground.  New sub-genre and a new line, meaning new "rules" that have not yet become familiar to me.

Hopefully tomorrow will find me back at writing the synopsis and still able to have it done in time to send before the holiday break.  The one good thing about all of this is that I've come to know my characters even better, and that's sometimes something that doesn't always happen until almost too late.

Keep tuned in.  Updates on the re-invention and expansion of my writing coming later.

First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!  - Ray Bradbury 

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