I’ll be honest. This book has been a bit of a chore at times.
I’m sure all writers can relate.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the story. I love the characters. I’ve enjoyed writing it. But as I mentioned in a previous post, this was supposed to be a short story.
I had started writing a fantasy novel before this friend’s dream asserted itself and yowled, “Write me! “ I had gotten a good 40k words in already and lots of world-building.
I thought I would knock this story out in a few sessions and be done with it. Now it’s been… well, a lot longer than that. I don’t really want to admit to just how long.
Another thing that makes this current novel more challenging is that it’s not exactly in the genre I usually write. It’s more of a modern day, real world setting. I write there sometimes, but generally in more familiar territory. This one takes place in another country, with different customs and ways of being. I’ve spent time in this country and even studied the language, but it’s still not like writing about something that takes place in your backyard.
And it’s not like writing in a world that you’ve created from whole cloth. It takes research. It has probably taken as much research as actual writing. So that’s even more time that’s been devoted to this “side” project.
And my epic sits alone, dust-covered and neglected. My mind wanders to it constantly, but I fight the urge to work on it, because I must finish this current one! This interloper that was supposed to be a quickie, a one-off, a flash in the brain pan.
It must be slain before I go off to fight other monsters.
And now I have these insane ideas to make it into a series. It’s a great idea. It would be a fun series. But then, who knows when I’ll get back to my fantasy epic?
Still, the ideas are bubbling for future adventures with these current characters. Threatening to take me away from my fantasy epic for years to come.
I have printed out a list of Henry Miller’s writing commandments from the book, Henry Miller on Writing, and posted it by my desk.
Number one says, “Work on one thing at a time until finished.”
One thing at a time? That goes against the way I’ve operated my entire life! And let me tell you, that is absolute proof that I should do it. I am constantly trying to do eight things at once and I am lucky if I ever get any of them done.
So, I am determined to stick to this rule.
I am not writing anything else until this is finished. It’s so close. It just needs a little more background, a little more finesse, and of course the daily beatings. I must remind it who is boss.
I must embrace this story as I work on it though. Putting the hours in has to be about itself and not about getting it done so I can work on the other one.
That epic will still be there when I am finished. For now, I have to let it be. I have to stay locked in mortal combat with this story until the beast has bled out.
If you have any thoughts or tips on how to stay focused, please let me know in the comments!
Next week, I will reveal the location of this devilish distraction of a novel! So stay tuned.