It appears to have happened at last. Ignition!
After my last book, I went through a bit of a grieving period. Happen to you? You’ve grown so attached to this character (especially if you’ve been writing in the first person), that you can’t get them out of your head.
Ollie was like that for me. She was a pistol– a smart-ass with an attitude, a two-fisted drinker with a fondness for men who were bad for her, and I adored being her for a year or two. Thinking like her and giving her a voice.
Having to move on was really tough. I’ve picked up and discarded ideas for months. It wouldn’t take much for me to find a reason to stop. NOTHING seemed to be flowing just right. Even the amazing idea I got while on vacation over the summer just wasn’t singing yet. And my search for daytime gainful employment made things even harder. I wasn’t starving, but things were getting pretty hairy in the financial sector here at Casa Giles.
At last, I have a job locked in. I start early next month. And that was evidently all it took to jar me out of my torpor. A book I’ll call Project X has also been picked up and discarded several times. My problem has been deciding on voice, and choosing a framework. I’ve made four different attempts to start, I’ll go for a while, and then despise where it’s going so much I collapse in the corner and suck my thumb. Not really, but it can feel that way…when you want nothing more than to hibernate under the covers and listen to the cat purr so you can feel better about life and fiction in general.
This time, I was determined to make it work, so I began inserting matchsticks between those sagging chapters to hold them up. Then, popsicle sticks. The framework has now become solid 2 x 4’s. I’m looking forward to replacing those with steel girders as time passes. They appear to be holding the weight at this point, so I’m grateful. Now if I can just get through this first draft. I’m sitting at about 43,000 words. I can DO this, dammit.
Everyone always says “first drafts are shit.” But in this case, this is some of the hardest shit I’ve ever had to work for! I’ll take it. If it’s anything like Ollie, I may be looking at seventeen rewrites, but hey. This is what being a writer is all about. Right?