Slogging through the middle of my current work in progress I ran into a wall.
Not just a wall, but a fortress insurmountable complete with lichen-covered stones and drizzles of what is likely the dumpings of the privy pot. I think my Muse lives up in that tower and takes great pleasure in the fact that I keep smacking my nose into her waste.
The book that I have loved for twelve chapters suddenly feels bland, lacking all sense of originality, and it is a chore to sit down and open the document every day.
Wherein we come to the tragic but predictable plight of the author and I begin to wonder why I bother with this writing thing. What could I possibly have to offer the world by way of this story, or any story ever?
This is a normal thing and I thank every author who has revealed their own insecurities regarding the writing life. You give me hope.
I actually just got to spend some time with a local author (L.J. Cohen who writes amazing science fiction and you should totally check her out) and we discussed this very issue. Most authors hit this wall in the writing process and, for some of us, it only seems to get worse with each project.
So what do I do when I hit this wall?
Well, to be honest, this wall was different from the others. All the other walls I’ve hit have been about the language and the writing style and all those things I knew I could clean up in the next draft.
This refuse-drizzling, moldy fortress wall barring my path insists that medieval fantasy novels are so last century.
“Nobody wants to read another Kid in King Arthur’s Court. Ugh, everything is so grey and blah and already done, and there’s no amount of editing that’s going to cure this thing. ”
It is possibly the hardest wall I’ve ever come up against.
And the only way I have been able to barrel through is my outline.
That’s right, my outline saved my butt. Because I put my headphones on and pulled my manuscript up and read through the whole of my outline, start to finish, and it made me remember why I started writing this thing in the first place.
Because I love Kevin and I want him to survive. And I want him to come to that moment in the end where he confronts his own grief and learns how to live with it. Because the genre may be tired and maybe some people will groan at the idea of another medieval fantasy, but there’s enough new in it to breathe life into the setting.
And if, when I’m revising, I feel like it needs something more to set it apart, then yes, I can still do that.
Check out what my fellow authors do to keep moving forward in those tough moments…
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1gQ
Marie Laval http://marielaval.blogspot.co.uk/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
A.J. Maguire https://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/ (YOU ARE HERE)
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com