My advice to writers has always been simply to write. Allow whatever is inside come out. And deal with it all later. But I have to make a bit of an amendment to that plan of action.
Last week, I started Nanowrimo again. There was a story in my mind that I had wanted to write for a few years now, so I thought that this would be the perfect time to get to it.
As I sat down to write, I followed my usual rules. And, after seven days, I had around 9,000 words written. It’s a little less than the quota I was supposed to have met up to that point. But I’m not working this month, so I knew I’d have no problem getting up to 50,000 in the next little while.
Then, yesterday, something occurred to me. I wasn’t really enjoying my story. And that, to me, is one of the most important parts of writing.
I didn’t care all too much about the characters or their plight. I wasn’t invested in finding out much more about them, either.
So, I was faced with the question of whether or not I continue on the path I was on.
Normally, I would’ve said to keep pushing on with it to see where it went. For certain things, I think that that can be a great strategy for authors. They usually figure things out as they move along.
But this time was different.
This story means a lot to me and I want to enjoy it as much as possible.
The result: I’ve started over.
My decision wasn’t easy, but at the end of it all I realized that I needed to put more of myself into it. By that I mean the things that I love. Fantasy. Science Fiction. Horror. The thing is that I’m trying a new genre and didn’t see a place for those.
That’s no longer the case. I’ve decided to let those sides work their way into the story however they want. And I’m pretty sure it’ll lead in some interesting directions. At least, it’ll be something more in line with the genres that I love to write about.
So, yes, this is an amendment to my “write and see what happens” rule. Sometimes the author simply knows what is right or wrong. And this instinct is just as imporant as any other “rules” that might be out there.
Gotta trust yourself sometimes!
p.s. now I’ve got 50,000 words to do in three weeks! Better get crackin’! 😀