I just had, as Oprah would say, an “aha!” moment, so bear with me. I promise this little homily will have a point.
So, as one may notice if one has been reading this blog in any half-assed capacity, then you’ll notice that there are a lot of posts relating to Iggy, the latest writing adventure/ self-inflicted torture/ “Hmm…won’t know if I can write historical fiction if I don’t try” project.
As you may find through the tag archives, I have my moments of complaining about my stories. Quite a lot, in fact. Storywriting is not all fun and games. At times, it’s actually quite wrenching. Writing a harrowing scene or working yourself up into a state so you can write something angsty and dramatic is not what I would call fun. Hearing very insistent voices in your head is also, at certain times, not fun; in fact, it’s downright weird. Not having your stories turn out the way you imagined is also really not fun. And when you suddenly don’t connect with your story or your characters, it’s annoying.
I can’t even imagine the frustration of having writer’s block.
Well, since I began this blog with Book The First, the subsequent two have been fairly easy. I don’t mean that they were necessarily la-di-da, so easy to write, but they certainly came more easily than anything I’d tried to write before Book The First. So despite my issues with Last Request and the flatness of The Keegan Inheritance, they weren’t, in general, torturous to write. And I did finish them.
But Iggy has been torturous to write. After NaNo ended, I found myself with this terrible manuscript in front of me. I figured that NaNo was over, now the real work had to begin. I thought that it was the amount of research I’ve had to do into the era that felt stifling. Or maybe it was that I didn’t know enough about the time and that was stifling. Or maybe it was because I didn’t quite know my characters. Or that I had too many.
I think I may have figured out why it’s been so difficult. It’s an amalgam of things. It’s a heavy story. There’s no real clear plot. Tons of characters. Most of the drama is actually religious and, um, while I know more about Catholicism than people assume I do, it’s still kind of weird to be writing about it. And I’m not sure that I really empathize with my characters–I’m not feeling what they’re feeling and that’s a huge problem when you’re the only one who hears these damn people and they’re demanding, but you can’t quite get the nuances of their stories down.
To be honest, I don’t know if I’m mature enough to write this story yet. Sometimes that happens. You have to grow into your ideas.
So, I think I’ll be putting Iggy aside for a little while. I’ll continue researching–you can check that out on the wiki, if you are so inclined. I’ll write my script, noodle around with the Regency-ness because I have some new ideas that will make them less romance novel-y and therefore, less cringe-worthy. You know how you have that one girl friend who has to be with someone at all times? I have to be writing something at all times. I mean, think about it. How many of you have ever known me when I was not writing a fanfic or a short story or a blog post or passing a note in school?
Ha! This is me sane. Imagine me if I wasn’t writing at all. Yikes.
I’ll come back to Iggy at some point, in the same way that I’ve drifted back to play with the Regency stories or in the way that I’ve gone back to read parts of Last Request and thought of different ways to fix that up. It’s not goodbye forever. And even if it were, who cares? I’m not under contract! I’m not on deadline! Writing is supposed to be fun!