After my little pity party yesterday, I sat down and wrote 2,400 words. I’m only about 1k behind now.
I set aside my first instinct upon realizing that I was stuck (which was panic) and made a decision: my main character wasn’t doing anything cool.
So, I wrote her doing something new and awesome with her magic and (surprise, surprise) the writer’s block seems to have lifted – for now.
I opened my Feedly today to find that Persekore expressed similar feelings in a post yesterday, though she did it more elegantly than I. As usual, I had a hard time figuring out what the problem was and putting words to my frustration.
Brandon Sanderson has said during promotional interviews for his new book Steelheart (and I’m paraphrasing here) that the main objective he had while he was writing that particular book was to ‘err on the side of awesome.’ It is indeed an awesome, action packed book (you should read it). I would venture to say that advice like that holds true for any book you’re writing. Because guess what? It works. If what you’re writing isn’t awesome to you, why write it at all? Why be boring? No one wants to write boring. No one wants to read boring. The whole point of a book is to take you to places that are new and exciting and mysterious and to see people doing amazing, wondrous and magical things that could never happen in real life.
So there’s my problem, right there: my character was doing some necessary but boring stuff. And there’s also not a lot of dialogue in this story and I love to write dialogue. I miss writing dialogue (exposition is not my strong suit). Those two things combined have sort of made me feel like quitting…
…if I were a quitter…
Which I most certainly am not.
So today I’ve been giving more thought to what really drives me forward in writing my novels.
Either I’m really in love with a character and I’m just so excited to write that character that I’ll do anything to get to see that character again. The novel I wrote for Camp NaNoWriMo in April was like that. I just loved one of my side characters – enough to give him his own viewpoint – and I couldn’t wait to get back to his story line once I was through with the other two. It was like a little reward for wading through less interesting bits. It was fabulous. Not once did I sit down and think “Gah! What am I going to write today?!”
Or I have a scene visualized in my mind – usually for the end of the book – that is just EPIC. And eventually getting to write that scene is like a reward for getting through the rest of the book.
I’ve realized that I’m not in love with this character yet. And I’ve already written the end which isn’t some big, dramatic, climatic awesome-fest.
Maybe it should be. Or maybe I should add a second viewpoint to round out the narrative. I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet. But when I do, I should totally err on the side of awesome, yes?