Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Nose to the Grindstone

   I've been back to blogging for a few weeks now but I haven't mentioned my writing once, so I've decided to finally post an update. It's been over a year since I started my science fiction novel, which has had MANY titles, and I'm now calling The Immortality Gene. I shelved that project twice, and started it over twice, but I'm working on it again it now. There was something missing and it took me awhile to figure out what that something was. I didn't stop writing while that project was in limbo however. I started two other novels which are languishing on my hard drive half finished. One was a detective story murder mystery called Shackled. The other was an epic fantasy adventure story called Fate Lock.
  I think the number one thing I've learned from the past year that I haven't been blogging is that I am really good at getting to 40,000 words, and then I start to second guess myself. Both Shackled and Fate Lock were flowing along at a great rate, until I got to the 1/3 mark... and then I stalled out. I'm not sure if I'm not spending enough time in the planning stage, or maybe my outlines aren't detailed enough. I'm not getting bored with the stories. I even tried pantsing it on the fantasy novel. It did not work out well. The pacing in that story is incredibly wonked. If I ever decide to finish it I will have to cut my way through it with a machete.
  I tried moving on to parts of the novel that I felt confident about, but that leads to me feeling overwhelmed. What's done? What isn't done? How do I tie these pieces together? I HAVE to write the story in order. If I start working out of order then I get flustered and frustrated which leads to me being stuck.  All roads lead to me not knowing where to go next.
   I thought maybe I was getting stuck because the genres weren't right for me. That's why one is sci-fi, one is crime, and one is fantasy. (Though they all have a little bit of sex... A novel without some sexual tension is like eating pizza without cheese.) I thought maybe switching genres would help me stay focused, or perhaps I just hadn't found my true calling as a writer. I haven't tried my hand at suspense or comedy yet, and I do not write romance. I don't think comedy would be my cup of tea. I'm not funny enough to keep people laughing on every page. Spies, war, and politics are a snooze for me, so those genres are out.
   Anyone have any ideas for keeping focused when you start to feel stuck???

Jimmie Hammel
JimmieHammel.com 
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