Well, here I am, at the beginning of October at the point in which I should be getting the final edits done to my latest “Nevermore and the Ravens” book. “Should” is the key word in that sentence. I am nowhere near ready to get my latest novel published. I thought I could make up time; I thought I could overcome repeated writer’s blocks, but I have not. Don’t get me wrong; I am going to finish this novel, but I am disappointed I couldn’t do so in a timely manner. My deadline is self-imposed but I do try to take it seriously.
So this is a bit of a spoiler, but since I’ve missed my deadline, I might as well shed a bit of light on what I was planning on doing. I decided to try to write a coherent novel this time around. Writing short stories isn’t easy and I thought taking a different approach might be easier. After all, when I got my last collection out (Saturday Night Séance), I had one story that I started on almost immediately that ultimately went unfinished and didn’t make the cut. I was worried I couldn’t come up with another 13 stories (plus songs, plus connecting interview pieces). I also had this idea for a novel and I thought maybe this would be a good time to mix up my portfolio.
Don’t worry, this won’t be like a movie trailer that gives away the whole plot. I will, however, reveal the general premise, which is that Maryann’s gods call in their favors. I’ve never been a fan of the idea that magic in any system doesn’t have consequences. I figure that calling on gods would have greater consequences, but being gods, those consequences would manifest at their need. And that the greater the magic used, the greater the price, and I have shown Maryann using some pretty powerful magic. And so the gods need Maryann to go on a quest as a repayment for services rendered, and the rest of the band goes along with her.
I thought it would be nice to create an entirely different world instead of adapting modern settings. Of course, that meant I had to create all the new worlds. And of course I decided that each of the 13 chapters had to be in different areas of the world. I did decide to eliminate the connecting interviews because I felt that would interrupt the flow of the story, but I am trying to keep the songs. And here I am, with 13 chapter titles but no novel title, barely any songs written and only half the story.
That Whooshing Sound (as the Deadline Goes Past):
Was I too ambitious? I’m not sure. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? But I guess I’ve been writing shorter fiction for so long I’m having trouble with the longer format. A lot of trouble (obviously). My life has been no more stressful (relatively speaking) so it’s not as though I have that excuse. I have tried a few different approaches to breaking the writer’s block.
1) Work on chapter titles to inspire songs or stories.
2) Work on general events to happen in each chapter.
3) Work on what the effect of the events (even if that hadn’t been developed yet) would be on the characters.
4) Work on songs.
In short, I was resorting to developing an outline, which is something I very seldom do (at least not since I stopped writing papers for school). Unfortunately, it didn’t work. I’m not much farther along than I was three months ago. I don’t feel burned out; I feel uninspired and I don’t know why. My Muse has abandoned me, the fickle creature, and I don’t know how to get her back. In the meantime, I’ll keep pushing in the hopes I can eventually break the writer’s block or get my Muse to come back. I’d like this defeat to be only temporary.