I am struggling.
We all are. It is the one thing we cannot escape. Which is unfortunate, because just once I‘d like something to come easy.
No, this isn’t about the writing journey. It is about craft, the actual writing itself. Last year I made a decision to write a story that I thought I could whip out easily enough. (Are you laughing, you know what I am going to say)… Yes, what I thought I could “easily” write has turned out not so easy.
Let’s see, what happened? Plot was the first thing, than second it was the secondary characters. I managed to get a grasp on them, but I forgot the most important thing—my main character. I was so focused on having a “story” and then have secondary characters carry it along…my main character was forgotten. This is unusual, because normally my problem is reversed-I have a fully developed main character and my secondary characters need the work.
I have re-started this story at least five times. I get to page 65, and it stops working. This is where a trusted reader comes in. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am too close to the story as I write, I can’t see the forest for the trees. My friend read it and promptly pointed out, “I don’t have grasp of your heroine.” Oops.
Now what to do….I have considered scrapping the damn story. Do you know what stops me? I really like the secondary characters; I want to know what happens to them. I also hate to admit defeat, I feel like it is gesture of weakness and if I have to be honest- it is my pride that has a problem with it.
So, I am giving myself one last chance. I am not restarting, but I am making notes. To solve my main character issue, I sat down and wrote a three page description of the heroine, her background and what motivates her, and dark secrets, her strengths and weaknesses. (Silly me, I thought my few sentence description of her when I started would have helped).
My goal now is to move forward with these changes and see if this writing exercise helps. If this exercise doesn’t work, I am going to put this story aside and work on another. I have spent way too long working on this story. I have struggled mightily and learned a lot about my strengths and weakness. Still, deep down, I wish it was easier. I know, nothing worthwhile comes easy, but there are days I wouldn’t be too snippy about it flowing a bit better.
What are you struggling with as you write? Is it plot? Characters? Length? Genre? How are you overcoming this?