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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Justice for My Characters

I could turn over last night without wanting to throw up, and I was able to sit straight up this morning with only a little dizziness. The Wal-itrin-D is working its generic drug magic. I'm not pushing it, but I may just survive this bought of vertigo.

I took my own advice about my WIP. You know, that advice I told myself last week about not focusing on what I couldn't do but considering what else I could do? I rearranged the scene slightly and the difficulties have smoothed out. Most recent hurdle jumped. Check. While I did it, I realized I've forgotten yet another plant I'll have to add to previous scenes. I never had this trouble with Star of Justice.

Do you ever feel like you're not doing your characters justice? I was thinking about Patrick Carr's second book and how he had all the makings of a really great story and fell just a bit short. Will I do that? Will I fail to give Kiven and Lucki all the room they need to be truly brilliant? I love these characters. I want other people to love them, too.

I understand why George Lucas keeps going back to original Star Wars (I despise him for it as only one who shares that log in the eye can, but I understand). As often as I sit at my keyboard and compare what I'm doing now with Star of Justice, I want to give up. That book wrote itself. I didn't have to decide what to do next; it just happened.

Frankly, it was too easy. It didn't prepare me for the bleak reality that some stories have to be planned. They need plotting and research and rewriting and adding plants and a ton of other stuff my arrogance thought I was past.

For all my admonitions and complaints about the hard work of writing, I hadn't realized it gets harder every book. I hoped at some point some of this would become old hat. I suppose if I wrote to formula, it would.

But I want to dazzle. I want unique, and plausible, and humorous and bittersweet and all that other nonsense I promised myself I would never worry about. I want better than Star of Justice, but apparently it's going to be harder than I expected and without any of the joy I once experienced. Writing isn't fun anymore. I dread opening the manuscript. I fear the second book syndrome. I'm paralyzed by indecision, like Sarah with the Helping Hands. "Which way do you want to go?" 

In short, I care too much what other people may think. I hate you all a little for that. Why did you have to like my book? Why couldn't you have ignored it or stopped reading at chapter three? No, you had to keep going and tell me how much you liked it. You had to tell your friends. You had to congratulate me and give five stars.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. It may be the only thing you get from me in your lifetime.

Happy Thursday, dear readers. Hope your day isn't starting as whiny and self-loathing as mine.

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