Some of you may have noticed that I haven't talked about writing or the progress on my novel in quite a while. I'll confess it. It's because I was stuck. I knew there was something wrong with my story, something that I was missing, but I couldn't figure out what it was.
I tried a variety of things. I tried to convince myself it was all in my head. That didn't work. I tried to push on editing and revising anyway, hoping the flaw would present itself. That really didn't work.
For more than a year I have been struggling with this. Remember that PlotNoWriMo series I did pre-NaNo last year? Just another attempt to fix my book. And while, in the long run, all that plotting is paying off, I still hadn't identified the real problem in my story.
Every time I sat down to work on finishing my MG fantasy Rodney and the Gonjii, I was overwhelmed by this shadow of doom lurking over it. Imagine the frustration! I've been burying myself in book reviews and book vlogging because, hey, that's building up my platform so it's accomplishing something, right?Some people might have switched projects at that point, but I was loathe to do so. There are two reasons I didn't. One, I'd made a pact with Rodney. This is going to be the first book I finish, if not the first book I publish. Two, I knew the problem arose from my method of writing. What would be the point of switching projects just to write that one into a hole?
Do you know how I finally managed to identify the problem? A two-hour brainstorming session with my dad, who is also a writer, and also happens to know just enough about the series to point out the problem.
There was nothing to connect my villain and my hero.
Yeah, I know. This sounds obvious. Elementary, even. But I was so focused on the plot, what had to be done, foreshadowing, stretching the story across six books, how it all connected -I didn't notice. Worse yet? I didn't know how to fix it. Fortunately, just by looking and discussing what I already had for the story and the universe, he was able to spot not only a plausible connection for the characters, but one whose elements were already included in my plans. It's almost like it was planned from the beginning. Go figure.
This is why brainstorming sessions and writing groups are so important.
Here's the thing. I am a good writer. I've been writing for fifteen years. The actual act of writing is not what I generally have a problem with. Writing a book series, however, is a new facet of the art form to me. And I just learned a hard but needed lesson in it.
This has been my first major trial in the realm of writing. It totally sucked. But I learned something valuable here and you know what? I'm still in love with writing. I'm calling this a victory because for the first time in my life I wondered if I really had the chops for a line of work that I've dreamed of doing since I was nine. I actually contemplated giving up on writing. But I didn't.
So for all of you writing hopefuls out there, this is just someone else telling you that writing is hard. That doesn't mean it's not worth it. We all have our moments of doubt and despair in writing. Don't let it define you. Don't let yourself believe that you're not cut out for it or you're not a real writer just because you're going through a rough patch. Get yourself a good brainstorming partner and a critique group and take that challenge.
And speaking of writing a book series...
Cheree Alsop has just finished her latest series, Werewolf Academy, and I've got three copies to give away!
Werewolf Academy: Chosen
Alex knew choosing the path of the lone wolf wouldn’t be easy, but challenging Jaze Carso for the chance to bring the Werewolf Academy to the public would prove to be much harder. Alex has to decide how far he is willing to go to give werewolves the life he has fought for. Will his trust in humans become the biggest mistake of his life, or will his hope in humanity prove that selflessness can change prejudice? Alex has bled for both sides; now is his time to challenge whether those sides will do the same for him.
Everything Alex has fought and bled for comes together in this final book in the Werewolf Academy series. New threats arise, an old enemy resurfaces, and the bond of love is tested to the extreme in this gripping conclusion.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Find out more about Cheree and her books!
Thanks for stopping by! Good fortune in all your endeavors. ^_^