I have been asked what I am currently working on, so I thought I would share with you what has been going on. Over the last two months, I haven’t done much work on my novels. Having offered up my first novel for a beta read and deciding not to continue working on the third novel until I finalized the first two, for fear of creating an inconsistent mess, I turned my focus to the second novel in the series. I would sit down with a broad vision of what I wanted to happen and words would make their way onto the page as I tried to build the bridges I needed to reach my destination, but something just didn’t feel right. Something just kept gnawing at me, preventing me from making any real progress and for the longest time, I just couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was.
Even after getting feedback from the beta readers, I wasn’t gung-ho about getting back to work like I had hoped. I thought that maybe I just needed to stew on the feedback and work things out mentally, but it wasn’t that simple.
Other than a few notes here or there, I had absolutely no drive to write and it was making me so anxious that I didn’t know what to do with myself. So, when faced with a case of what I like to call “writer’s dunce”, I did what I usually do; I turned to reading as a means of clearing my head and gaining a fresh perspective. After reading three novels, I still didn’t have the urge to jump back into my work and I still hadn’t pinpointed the source of the problem. Normally, before I’ve even finished reading one novel, I’m filled with ideas and the urge to get back to work, so this was troublesome.
In addition to reading books, I started reading critiques and discussion boards, not only on the books I was currently reading, but on others in genres similar to my own work, that I had read in the past. Some of the discussions helped to bolster my confidence that I was doing some
things right, avoiding some of the pitfalls that caused the most grief for readers of my intended genre. I think somewhere along the way, I subconsciously began to realize why I was having such a hard time continuing with my own work. It wasn’t immediately apparent to me, but the more discussions I read, one by one eliminating the doubts that were clouding my thoughts, the clearer it became. My problem, it would seem, is that I had completely lost the essence of what I was trying to achieve.
I had set out to write a vampire story laced with romanticism. What I ended up with, was something altogether different; a romance novel with a vampire twist. My main character was a watered down version of who I wanted her to be, of who she is, epitomizing the weak, dependent females so often featured in romance novels. This was not what I had wanted at all and the further I had written into the story, the stronger this theme seemed to weave its way into my novels.
How could I be expected to keep writing when my work was starting to get on my own nerves? I think that somewhere deep inside, my main character was trying to tell me that I wasn’t writing her story correctly. Sure, the events were unfolding as they should, but I hadn’t painted her in the the right light. Vampires are meant to be hardcore; so dark that they terrify you, but at the same time beguile and intrigue you.
Now that I have identified the problem, I need to work out how to go about fixing it. It seems that I have quite the challenge ahead of me.