Yesterday I opened a giveaway for my 500th blog post. I’m leaving the comments open until Wednesday evening and I’ll announce a winner on Thursday. If you haven’t commented yet, stop by to ogle the top 10 nummy men from my Fantasy Men Fridays!
Blog post 501 just doesn’t have the same ring as 500th, does it?
Anyway, I waffled all night and all morning trying to come up with a topic for today. I was going to blog about pain and donating blood, but I’ve settled on a writing topic. Why? Because a few weeks ago I hit a major road block in my writing.
I’m currently working on two WIPs. One is the second book in my Olympus, Inc. series and the other is a Christmas novella I was inspired to write by a random comment on Facebook. Neither of them were going well. It got to the point where I hated the heroine of my novella and I had no idea what my characters were doing in my Olympus book.
Now? I still don’t know what my characters are doing in the Olympus book, but after slashing 14,000 words from my novella, I’ve finally figured out where the story is going. And I like my heroine again. In three days, I wrote 10,000 words to bring the novella back up to the word count it was at before I went all Jack the Ripper on it.
Some authors will say never throw away your words because you never know when you can use them. Normally, I’d agree. I have about twenty different versions of my Olympus book, but with the novella, that wasn’t an option. It’s hard to write a story when you dislike your heroine. Why did I dislike her so much? She was weak and wimpy. I blame my inability to write these kinds of heroines on Wonder Woman and the Bionic Woman. It’s their fault I can’t write helpless heroines. I have no problem making the hero slightly weak (or vulnerable if you rather), but the heroine has to be strong. And cutting that weakness from the story was necessary. It was a risky killing, but it was needed to give the story life again.
Writing for me is like gambling. Sometimes you’re on a hot streak and can’t be stopped, like when I wrote the first Olympus book. 80,000+ words in 28 days. Yeah, I was feeling the fire and it was good. Other times, you can’t win to save your life. You keep borrowing money to play because you know the next scene is going to be better and the next thing you know, your muse has married an Elvis impersonator and left you alone with three very big men who want to twist you like a pretzel (in a bad way).
Then there are times like what I’m facing with this novella. You have to cut your losses while you’re ahead and retreat back to your farm. You ignore the frantic calls from your muse who insists she’s getting a divorce and is never drinking Mind Erasers again. You ignore the temptation of the finish-it-quick plot angle and you plow ahead. This is your book; you can make it do anything it wants and if your characters protest, you slap them in the back of the head and tell them to get with the mf’ing program. You have to be stern with them sometimes.
That’s what I’ve had to do and I don’t really care if my characters keep blushing and stuttering because they’re uncomfortable with what I’m doing to them. It’s for their own good after all. They’re going to live happily ever after while I have to go and wrangle more stubborn characters. Just as soon as my muse files the restraining order against Elvis and gets out of rehab.