Don't Stop Believing

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My novel has been the ugly stepchild at times, fighting me on every plot point and character traits. At others it’s been loving and sweet, pouring out of my fingers with ease.

The beginning has gone through countless rewrites as I honed the plot and learned not to write entirely by the seat of my pants.

My MC started as a stubborn recluse with a pathetic demeanor, and evolved into a strong female with brains and excess bravado. She changed from a character I struggled to write to one who dominated my thoughts. She was supposed to be a co-protagonist, but her strength and determination claimed the majority of page time.

My second protagonist, the smoking-hot hostage negotiator with no flaws, became darker and a little damaged. He stopped being a pansy and started acting like a worthy male lead.

And my antagonist…my demented psychopath I’ve always adored. He evolved from a strange man obsessed with a girl to a calculating man driven by past grief. He now has a reason for his actions and a carefully planned end game. He’s become three-dimensional, stepping off the page and getting into readers heads. His story will gain readers empathy even as they root for the protagonist to kick his butt.

I’m calling this psychological thriller Light and Dark, but I’ve no idea if the name will stick. Maybe something brilliant will come to me in the edits.

And there are a lot of them ahead. I know I’ll go through several rounds before I’m ready to considering querying or self-publishing.

The journey is by no means complete. But I’m extremely proud of my accomplishment. There have been days I wondered what the hell I was doing, why I was wasting my time—you all know the feeling. I thought about quitting. Or starting something new.

But my characters kept talking, and I became determined to tell their story. My reward is this euphoric feeling…and a strawberry margarita. Or two. Maybe three.

The point is, if you’ve hit a wall with your writing, don’t give up. You set out to write your book because you loved the idea and believed in it. Don’t stop! Forget about the end goal of publishing for a while and just get wrapped up in the writing. Embrace it. Don’t agonize over the details or the hiccups, get the meat of the story down. Whatever you do, keep writing. And be proud of every accomplishment. It’s more than a lot of people who dream of being writers can ever say. Pat yourself on the back, have a drink. And then write some more!

Thank you to all my Twitter and blog friends for their encouragement and advice! Social media really is a wonderful writing tool.

And now, in celebration of finishing my draft, one of the greatest songs of all-time!

8 comments:

khashway said...

Congratulations! Take time to bask in this moment. You've accomplished something great. Enjoy it. Take some time away from it. Then revise with fresh eyes.

Stacy said...

Thank you! That's exactly what I plan to do. We're leaving for vacation Friday morning, and I'm going to set it aside until we get back.

Executiveredhead said...

I can hear Steve Perry singing right now:) What an accomplishment and you should definitely celebrate it and feel very proud of yourself. Congrats!

Stacy said...

Ah, Steve Perry. I would so go see Journey if he'd get back with the band.

Thank you! I feel very proud of myself, which is an accomplishment in itself for me.

Beverly Diehl said...

Congratulations, finishing the draft is SO very exciting. (insert cheering and clapping sound effects here)

Stacy said...

Thanks, Beverly! It's been a great week:)

Laura Pauling said...

Congrats on finishing! That's a huge step. Now comes the hard part. :)

Stacy said...

Thanks, Laura! Don't I know it, lol. I'm still trying to plan the editing process. I'm going to read Self-Editing for Fiction Writers while I'm on vaca (I hope), and then go from there. I know I have lots of work ahead of me, but I'm looking forward to it:)

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