The name of this blog is a bit of a misnomer.
I haven't been writing.
Infact, I haven't written anything for a very long time.
My contribution to my Story a Fortnight group has been zilch (and I feel particularly guilty about that) and as for my novel writing... what novel writing?
For a while now I've been wrestling with novel #2. Not physically as I haven't actually touched it for months. But mentally. What to do about novel #2?
I'm just not in love with it.
I'm not in love with the plot, the character or the premise.
That's why I found getting those first 20,000 words out such an ordeal.
My heart wasn't in it.
But I was scared to ditch it because it fits so well with novel #1. Well...it's paranormal and that's about the only way it fits. Because, when I re-read novel #1 recently, I realised that what novel #2 lacks is a premise that touches me. Novel #1 makes people who read it cry. There's something about novel #1 that touches people. It explores love, loss, hopes and dreams. It's about selflessness and sacrifice.
Novel#2 is about 'going after your dreams'.
Which isn't a bad premise per se but it's not one that touches me profoundly. Nothing I've written so far has made me laugh out loud or brought me even vaguely close to tears.
And I don't want to write a book I'm not in love with.
So I been thinking about an alternate novel #2. A novel that is paranormal but has stronger themes.
And I was scared to ask my agent if, maybe, possibly I could ditch novel #2 and write a replacement.
I shouldn't have been scared because my agent immediately replied saying she didn't want me to write something I wasn't in love with and could I run the idea for new novel #2 by her?
So I did.
It was only a vague idea. It didn't even have a plot.
But she said she liked it. And she liked my temporary title for it.
And I felt heartened and set about trying to think the novel through, trying to work out the plot.
But my brain refused to co-operate and I hit wall after wall after wall. My brain, my creative centre, was empty.
And I seriously started to think I'd never write another novel.
Then, tonight, I got out my 'how to plot' book and read a bit. Still my brain was blank. So I picked up one of the books that I won in Lucy's prize giveaway ("Morality Tale" by Sylvia Brownrigg) and, as I read about a world so far removed from my idea for novel #2 that they couldn't be more different, I had an idea.
And scribbled it down in my notebook.
Then I went back to Sylvia's novel.
And had another idea.
And suddenly...suddenly...almost magically...I knew what replacement novel #2 was about. I know what the premise is and it explores themes that really touch me.
I don't, exactly, know what the plot is yet but I know what emotional journey two of the characters need to go on.
And I feel like a huge weight has been lifted.
And I feel a teeny, tiny bit excited.
So my solution to beating writers block? Read something totally unconnected to what you want to write.
What are your solutions?