I’m plowing through the first round of edits for novel #3—a project that, although it was written in a fury, no writer’s block in sight, has taken on the guise of, literally, everything—from a psychological thriller to contemporary YA to a paranormal romance. Yeah, it was a mess.
I’ve mentioned before how my previous projects haven’t been the most commercial. I didn’t think this one would be either until I recently delved into the re-writes. I struggled a little in the beginning. I felt torn between the market and following my gut. I have an eighteen-year-old male narrator, a road trip, and a dead girlfriend. All the trappings of a contemporary romance novel in reverse. But the more I tried to force a specific agenda, the more things just didn’t feel right.
So I mulled over it for a few days—ok more like a week—trying to really look at the core of my story and what it’s really supposed to be about. That’s when it hit me. This is not supposed to be a love story. This is supposed to be the story after the love story.
With that in mind I cut about five thousand words and started fresh. Seeing that word count dwindle threatened to give me a mild heart attack but ultimately I was at peace with the pending changes because not only would I finally be moving in the right direction, I’d also be moving in a coherent direction, which is just as important.
So if you’re having trouble finding the words, maybe it’s not the words that are the problem—maybe it’s the direction, the novel’s very identity. And maybe it’s time to check your intentions. When it comes to writing a book figuring out the why is even more important than the how. Why does this particular story keep you up at night? What’s you’re motivation? And is it something that can fuel your muse? Something powerful, something honest, something actually worth telling. Because trust me, if there’s on person you can’t fool, it’s her.