“Sometimes, it all becomes too complicated and too hard. Sometimes, I begin to believe that I don’t have the brains, background, or the skill, to write the novel I want. Sometimes, I just have to step away from the damn project and admit that I can’t do it.
I’m not normally that person. Call it stubborn pride or just call it stupidity, but I usually put my head down and start researching while I push and shove my way through the information until I feel I can write about the subject without sounding like an idiot. I don’t have to be the expert. I don’t have to know the subject like the back of my hand. But, I have to have a freaking clue about what I’m writing.
But, today, I have no clue. Today, I feel like I’m in over my head and I’m freaking lost. The storyline I saw so clearly is just not working. Not because this isn’t a great story. It is. Not because I’m incapable of telling a good story. I can. And not because this couldn’t be a great book. It could.
But, I can’t seem to figure out how to get there from here. Every time I think I have the story hammered down, I don’t. Every time I think I know what I’m doing, I don’t. And for every day I write, I’m spending two days tearing it up and rewriting. The police investigation in the book doesn’t work. Put simply, there are too f***ing many laws, rules, procedures, and pain in the ass reality checks to deal with. I don’t know how the cops put up with the bullshit!”
That’s the blog I started early this morning. Actually, I wrote much more than this in what turned into a massive pity part that went on for several more paragraphs as I poured out my anger, frustration, and self-doubt. At the end of this horribly diatribe, I wrote, “I don’t want sympathy, suggestions, or to start a damn support group. My hope is that by saying all of this, I will get it out of my system and much like an irresponsible dog owner on a walk with Fido, I can leave the hot, stinking pile of crap on the side of the road while I just move the hell on.”
I spent a good part of today in a lousy mood, and I’ve seriously considered hitting the delete button on the manuscript several times. Then, it hit me. I wasn’t writing my type of book. I’ve always stretched my limits and learned new things, but my books are action/adventure/suspense involving a strong woman with a military career or background along with a decently hot romantic element. I DO NOT write police procedurals, and while I have a male character’s viewpoint, my stories are not generally from the primary viewpoint of the man. I had also split the story with the romance in one place and the police procedural in the other. This weakened the novel and split my focus. In small words – IT DIDN’T WORK!
My original premise for this book remains excellent. However, I have to alter the focus and dump the police procedural that is not occurring in the primary location. I have to go back to the guts of the story.
So tomorrow morning after walking the pooches and brewing a large pot of coffee, I will sit down and begin the task of blowing this up. I’ll be lucky to salvage 5,000 to 7,500 words out of the 35,000 that I have, but they’ll be the right ones. They will be the ones that set the tone and pace of the book and put me back on my path. The rest will go into a folder that I keep for things I’ve written but can’t currently use.
I’m suddenly feeling pretty good about this again.