Wednesday, December 12, 2012

SPE: Big Dreams, Losing Focus, and Doubt

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

At any given time I have at least 50 characters talking in my head. Sounds crazy? To some, maybe; but to writers and creators, they know exactly what I am talking about. I could be walking down the aisle at the grocery store, glance at a packaging for green beans and then be hit with a story idea or a character pops into my head. As fun as it may sound in schizophrenia-land, it’s a burden more than a blessing.

I struggle to keep focused when so much is rambling around in my head; jokingly I’ve even asked my husband if I should seek help from the doctor in the form of a Ritalin prescription just so I can focus on my projects. ADD jokes aside, my lack of focus comes from a mix of an over active imagination and being undisciplined in my writing. I have so many ideas typed up in my “idea’s” notebook, my WIP folder on my computer looks like a disaster and I’ve been dubbed “The Queen of first Chapters & Character Design” by my husband, who thinks that writing is easy and who can’t understand why I can’t just pound out a 120,000 word novel by the end of the week.

Oh the joys of being misunderstood, both myself and writing as a whole. Writing isn’t easy, writing and crafting something that is entertaining and well thought out takes time.

My SPE project has hit some snags. Snag #1 is: What the hell am I going to use as my SPE?

Well, let me answer that one for you and me both.

My SPE was supposed to be a story of a wolf and a witch set in Ireland, it was going to be the tie in to an entire series I have in my head. I did say “supposed to be”? Yes I did, when the characters refuse to speak to you, you just can’t force it and those two did not and still do not want to speak to me right now. Project scraped.  

Next on the agenda was going to be my Fallen Angel’s story, but I have decided that his tale might be a little too dark for reader. This, as you will see, is definitely becoming a theme for me. His story would be a prequel to a demon huntress story that is a mix of Religious conspiracy theories, demonology 101, a pinch of world history and so much sex it should probably come with an NC-17 rating. So, that option probably wouldn’t be good either for a first time self-published author.

Option 3, my baby. The story that I am dying to write, a tale of two characters bound together throughout time, forced to never be together until- well, you know, I wouldn’t want to spoil it for everyone. The only problem with that one is I am so emotionally invested in these characters that I find them hard to write at times. If I am stressed out over real life issues, then I can’t focus on them, they are so tightly wound around every fiber of my DNA that they respond as I respond.  Crazy, I know. But the mental hospital doesn’t have any rooms available to the “author and her characters who can’t seem to get themselves on track” and sadly the deadline is looming.

So the final word on what my SPE is going to be is: Option 3, unless I can be convinced that readers actually do like a twisted, dark, smutty story as much as I do in which case I will be using my Paranormal Erotica story involving Angels, Demons, and the Church.

Either way, focus is needed. Both projects are continually open in my WIP folder, so they should both be seeing an increase in word count throughout the next couple of months.

Snag #2: Novella vs. Novel

For the entire month of November I have agonized over this. The only conceivable answer is: Write the story (which ever it may be) and whatever it ends up at is what I go with. ß-- I think this might be my shortest answer ever to a question.

So, was there a point to my blog post this week?

Who knows. Maybe, maybe not. This post is mainly a little note to me, to remind myself not to get hung up on the little details. I lose focus when I stress, when I worry, when I become overwhelmed. We all, at some point, are plagued with self-doubt. When the stakes are high, when it is a dream that we desire above all else, when we are truly afraid of failing- That is when we run the risk of listening to those internal voices that try to bring us down, and it is at those moments when we need to reach out and ask for help. For me, help comes in the form of friends and fellow writers like Alexandra who help get me back on task and help keep me focused.  

My dreams are big and they scare the hell out of me, but if I give in to doubt then I will be in agony for not having tried. So, regardless of the snags I encounter, I will keep going until I finish. The only way I will truly fail is if I never try in the first place.

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