Somehow, somewhere, I picked up a writer’s block bug, and I just can’t seem to shake it. As the days became weeks, and now over a month, it has become clear that it won’t pass on its own. Breaking out of this rut will require some deliberation and work.
This hiccup serves as a signpost for me, with two distinct markers mounted upon it. First, it means I have reached the end of the honeymoon stage in the Lunhina Trilogy. This is not to say the new setting and characters do not still excite me — they do — but it means the easy part is over. I could write a thousand cool starts to stories. The start is all about layering intrigue and finding different ways to introduce people. The questions drive the introduction. When you exit the “start” of the story then suddenly the plot lines need to go somewhere, and need to follow an interesting path along the way. I can’t just wing this or throw it off the cuff, and thus the end of the honeymoon.
This also explains the second marker I see clearly before me. I don’t like free writing, or “gardening” as GRRM calls it. I was trying it in this book for two reasons: first, it was a reaction to my first story Sapphire Spawn, which had been outlined so tightly, all my characters suffocated before I pulled them through it. Second, new writers are always encouraged to try different things until they know what really works for them. So I tried it.
That might be little harsh, but it doesn’t mesh with my personality, or my need for momentum. If I don’t know where to go next, I come to a hard stop between each chapter, and that doesn’t work for my style.
I’m in the process of pulling out what hair follicles remain to me as I try to lay down an outline that can carry me towards the endings I have planned. This is at least productive. Less productive has been an increase in my own crits with my informal writing groups, and other expenditures of my free time that could otherwise have gone to my story. No more. I’m putting myself into a mandatory time-out from all that until I get this sorted. I hope to pull free in the next few nights and be on my way.