My last blog post, which feels like it was done ages ago (thank you, Thanksgiving for messing up my schedule), was talking about feeling stuck with The Head-Heart Debate. This post is to officially announce that I’m moving on from the story and working on something else.
My problem with THHD had nothing to do with the characters, or the plot. I could have fixed those and gone from there. The problem was, no matter how much I tried to psyche myself up for it, I just couldn’t get into the story. And since I write stories for my benefit just as much as for yours, I find that if I don’t enjoy writing a story, there is nothing I can do. I wasn’t interested in writing THHD, no matter how much I liked the concept and the characters. So, I decided to put it aside.
Now, as hard as this is to do, since I really hate abandoning projects partway through, it is not the first time this has happened. I have about…ten or so (I think) stories of various genres and types that I have set aside. Only one of those is because I didn’t feel my skill levels were up to the story that I wanted to tell at the time. The rest, for all that they were interesting and had good characters and the potential to be a really good story, just didn’t grab me. THHD is now in that category.
I find the best thing that I can do when I reach this point is to dive into a story that I really, really want to write. It can be completely self-indulgent, to the point where I may not even publish such a thing, but if I really want to write it, then the words come. In this case, I am starting a light fantasy romance, set in sort of the 1810s-20s, though the historical period is imprecise. I want there to be history, to be a sense of past, but also for the story to be separate, allowing me to not only bend time, but to add that element of magic.
Okay, that may not have made a lot of sense, but the story is still young. Basically, instead of a contemporary romance, I am writing a fantasy romance. That’s just where I want to write at the moment, so that’s where I shall write. Already, I begin to feel much better about the story and the writing process. I’m not struggling to find words, I’m not hung up on plot points, I’m just letting the story flow through me and onto the page. And that is the part of writing that I really love.
So, don’t expect The Head-Heart Debate in the new year. I may pick it up again in the future, but for now, I am set on The Keeper of the Wild Places.