I’ve written every single day this week, but for the last three or so days I’ve had writer’s block. I’ve only written a couple hundred words each day.
This year for NaNo I’m writing the next two books in my Recovering Happily Ever After series. The plan is to average 2,000 words a day and finish the second book (Book 3) on November 30. It’s currently about 1 AM my time, November 16. I’m about 3700 words behind schedule and I was supposed to have completed Book 2 by now. Today is the day I’m supposed to start Book 3.
But, I’m just stuck.
Book 1, “That Prince Guy,” is funny. The characters are sassy and sarcastic and the book is a crazy adventure with fun plot twists. I love it. I’d kind of been hoping Book 2 would be the same. It hasn’t been. The main character doesn’t use sarcasm and comedic exaggerations to hide her symptoms of depression. Instead, she hides her symptoms by trying to be normal, and locking herself in her room when that doesn’t work. This book is sort of melodramatic. And her love interest, the dual POV character, isn’t funny either. Not even a little bit. Okay, sometimes a little bit. But rarely. If ever. If I might say so myself, these characters bore me.
That isn’t to say that they’re boring people, or that they’re flat characters, or anything like that. I guess it’s that while in the first book those characters made it all about them, these two are hiding from the spotlight. I, personally, don’t like the way they’re telling their story. I’m sure other people will. I just don’t. I’m having trouble writing them, and I don’t even know how exactly the last two chapters are going to go.
There is at least one thing I like much better about this sequel versus the first. “That Prince Guy” was a fun, bizarre adventure that opened up a lot of questions and answered almost none of them. In this book, “This Glass Heart,” the main characters are unraveling the mystery of why the events in the first book happened and what’s really going on.
That’s not to say that I don’t like fun, bizarre adventures. I love them. But I love having my questions answered even more.
Oddly enough, I also love that the main characters in this book hate Jadon. I didn’t know they would hate Jadon, but it makes sense, given their personalities. To them, he is extremely rude and annoying. In the first book he was also a bit annoying, but he fit in with those characters and ultimately ends up becoming Guy’s best friend. That might be evident to some readers by the end of “That Prince Guy,” but it isn’t something I really touch on yet.
Anyway, I am excited that the characters in this series have different personalities. There are a lot of YA series, some of which I love, where I suspect that the wide cast of characters all have personalities that are exaggerated in exactly the same way just so that the book(s) don’t lose their tone based on which characters are being focused on. I don’t need more of that. I don’t want to write that. I want to write about the very real and painful ways that people deal with depression and the kinds of approaches and lessons they have to learn to start on their path to recovery. Because, personally, I’ve found that even though it’s the depression that makes me miserable, it’s my own beliefs/mindset or learned traits/habits I got from the depression that keep me from getting better. That’s what this series is about. That, and the ways depression might surface in someone who doesn’t even realize that past trauma is influencing their life/behaviors, as we’ll see in Book 3. Anyway, each book is taking a different approach.
I was hoping writing this blog post would help me overcome my writer’s block and figure out where to go next. It hasn’t helped yet. I’m super duper tired and the heartburn has been baaaad the last two weeks and it’s hard for me to stay focused, so that’s part of the problem, but I’m still going to finish this book tonight. I have to. I refuse to leave this for the morning only to wake up with a daunting 6,000 words to write today. Besides, I promised that I’d have the book ready for beta readers by tomorrow evening. I’m planning on publishing this on December 17, so I kind of need to get going. The cover is being made, by the way! I’m excited to see how this one turns out. I also feel kind of bad for my cover designer, because of the many options she gave me to go off of for Book 1, I probably picked the one that will be most difficult to do matching series covers for. I do know for sure it’s going to be tricky, at least. She’s said as much herself. We went the way of using teen models in medieval-esque clothing, after all.
I’m probably just going to keep writing until I feel like I can get going on the book.
Ignore the fact that this is about 900 words so far that I’ve written tonight which AREN’T for NaNo. (I’m not counting them for NaNo. I already know I’m going to surpass the 50,000 word goal this month and I don’t want to copy/paste them into my doc just for the sake of extra words. These aren’t the book. They don’t matter.)
Two chapters left. I’m a couple hundred words into the first one. It’s from the guy’s point of view (his name is Salvador) and they’re about to find out some important stuff. A lot of that important stuff will probably be stuff I am not aware exists yet. That’s part of the problem. Or maybe one of the important things will simply be an illusion to the identity of the main character in the next book, the damsel in distress who isn’t in distress until someone comes along to rescue her.
I don’t know if anything is going to happen in this chapter other than them finding stuff out and doing something with it.
I don’t know that they’ll do anything with it except leave.
I don’t even know where they’ll go yet. They have options. They just can’t stay where they are.
And I have no freaking clue what’s going to happen in the last chapter.
I do enjoy having my books go full-circle and end where they began, like I did with the first book. I could do that. But I don’t know how I’d make that ending special or powerful.
I know I will make it special/powerful. I know all my concerns will come to an end as soon as I get writing here. I just don’t know how it’s going to happen yet, and that scares me, and that makes the writer’s block worse.
By the way, writer’s block is so totally a thing. I could write this chapter, right now, with everything that I know. But if I do that based on what I currently know, that chapter will be terrible. There are times where my genius doesn’t come out until I’m typing the words, but usually I get the ideas first. I don’t have a guarantee that I’ll get good ideas once I start writing. There. Is. No. Guarantee. And I’m only writing this once. Because redrafting is a huuuuge issue for me. I can write that book. I can write it based on everything I know and claim that “writer’s block” isn’t a thing. But then that book hasn’t reached its full potential and in fact so many changes need to be made based around what I did write that I have to do it all over again, and the next thing I know I’ve written 350,000 words’ worth of complete drafts and none of them are what they need to be. (I’m looking at you, Victim of Greed.) (No wait, no I’m not because looking at you is painful.) No more. Writer’s block is real and I have to play my cards right in order to get the book written right. Writing words is not the same as writing the right words. So, there.
Nothing has come yet.
I’m at over 1300 words on this post.
The best thing I can do for myself at this point is probably to pray and just start writing. If the right words still aren’t coming… I’ll figure out something else.