Pity Party

Somewhere On the Other Side of the Writing Cave…

I was hoping to be outlining my next project this week or at least getting a head start on it. However, in typically me fashion, I’m being bombarded with insecurity and doubt over the new idea.

I know this happens with everything I write, but the difference with this one is a couple of things:

1) It’s a medieval time period. I have another idea that’s set in medieval times, I’ve only just realized, but that is part of a series and only the first book is in the past. The rest will be modern day, and for some reason, the time period in that particular project isn’t bothering me at all, drawing all the more attention to the fact that it is bothering me in this one.

2) Sometimes my love and excitement for an idea clouds my judgement. I end up trying to force myself through something because I love it so much, and it just ends all kinds of busted.

3) Timing. I got this idea somewhere between reading a fairy tale retelling and buying FOUR fairy tale anthologies from the bookstore. Granted they are mostly the darker, more original versions of the fairy tales, but I’m afraid of running into this problem where I think I’m making meat loaf only to look down when I’m done and realize I was following a recipe for strawberry shortcake.

Seriously, this has happened. Story-wise, not actually-wise. I was writing a story that was dark and exciting and emotional but on paper it sounded like the backstory for a square on the Candy Land board.

The medieval idea isn’t a fairy tale, but there’s something about the setting that’s making me think that way, and it’s making me nervous because the last time this happened, I ended up with a story on my hands that I actually wouldn’t read if I saw it out in the wild. It wasn’t just in a genre I don’t read much in, it was a genre I don’t even like. I know it probably sounds confusing, but it happened, and I don’t want it to happen again. That story wasn’t a fairy tale either, but it sounded SO much like one when I would tell people about it.

I think I’m just freaking myself out, but I can’t be so sure. I’m a big believer following your instincts, you know, and if something is nagging at you, something is wrong, and I think something is nagging at me.

I know part of it is the plot. I do not have enough plot for a novel. I’ve had this idea for month. Usually by now I’m at least confident that all the elements will be in place when I get to it and can talk myself out of worrying about it. But this time, I think I’m going to get to March and I’m still going to have nothing.

Which is kind of affirming my fears that my excitement over this story has made incredibly blind to it’s shortcomings.

But who knows, I may get to March and everything’s okay. Or not. I did have a couple of plot bunnies escape from the plot bunny field this week, so it’s not like I don’t have options.ย I just know my track record. The older a story idea gets, the less likely I am to work on it, being that they are constantly getting overshadowed by newer ideas, and I tend to favor those sometimes over the older ones. The moment I choose to write something else over this one, the likelihood of this story getting written drops dramatically.

Okay, be honest, am I being crazy? Cause I feel crazy. I really wanted to outline something this month. I want to get the proper distance from “The Raven” (tentatively retitled “Blue-Eyed Raven” though the more I look at it the more I hate it), so I was going to just let it sit the entire month, but Iย can’t spend the next two weeks without SOMEthing to work on, I will lose my mind.


    • krystal jane

      Sometimes I feel obligated to write stories other people get excited about. I had that problem last year. I spent 3 months on the first five chapters, had a complete outline and everything. The words just wouldn’t come.

  • Crystal Collier

    Sounds like a little distance would do you good. =) I totally hear you about writing a genre you don’t even like. I did that once. Weird. Sometimes our writing takes us to new and unexpected places, and it’s best to just let it take us. Sometimes it’s best to take off the beasts head before it drags you into a mire. (And I was just laughing. All writers sound insane to a degree. I mean, if people heard what was going on in our heads 90% of the time, the institutions would be overflowing.)

    • krystal jane

      ^_^ So true. My sister tells me sometimes, “you know not to say that in front of people who don’t know you right?” Lol!

      But it is really strange to have a story in a genre I don’t read. I love it, but I have absolutely no idea what to do with it.

  • Tonja Drecker

    I don’t want to even admit how often this has happened to me…and how many story skeletons I’ve piled up in the corner the last two years. I look at them as writing experience and exercise. As to straying off to new genres…I just let it happen. That’s one of the joys of writing.
    Oh, and if you ever want some extra eyes, I’d be more than happy to lend you mine…well, you know what I mean ๐Ÿ™‚

    • krystal jane

      ๐Ÿ™‚ I too have a scary pile of story skeletons. For some reason, I thought I would have less as the years went on, but I see that is not the case. Ha,ha.

      Now I’m not going to able to hear someone say, “can I borrow your eyes for a minute” without laughing. ^_^

  • sandiedocker

    You’re not crazy, you’re a writer. Or should that be ‘yes you’re crazy – you’re a writer!’
    Take a breath, stop over-thinking, and go with your instinct. Remember nothing you put down on paper is a waste, we learn from everything we write, so go with it.

  • Linnea

    If you don’t know if this idea is going to work for you, forget the outline and just plunge in. Write a possible opening or a scene that’s uppermost in your mind. Sometimes I have to do that simply to get my creative mind in the right gear.

  • Karla

    I think you definitely have to follow your gut. It’s nagging at ya for a reason, ya know.
    I just commented on Michelle A.’s post and said that I need to write. I haven’t since we last met up! At least you ARE writing. Let it all flow and see where it takes you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • krystal jane

      Very true. I’m always telling other people to listen to their gut, but then I’m like, “But what if mine is wrong?” Lol! I know as soon as I just move it aside for now I’ll feel so much better.

      Yes! Write! Something. Even if it’s crazy and you have to burn it later. I did that a couple of NaNos ago. I didn’t finish it, but it put me on the right path.

  • Michelle A (@SunflowerRei)

    1. If it’s nagging you, it’s nagging for a reason. Always go with your writing gut.

    2. I had a story idea a few years that I was super excited about and I dived into it for NaNo and then ended up not getting that far and hating it. It was supposed to be my first historical fiction and it was Tudor times and I think I liked the idea more than the actual plotting-writing-development thing.

    • krystal jane

      Word! I so feel that! It’s so weird that the excitement doesn’t always wear off on the actual writing, but when it doesn’t, it doesn’t. That’s exactly what happened to just about all of the stories I tried to write last year.

      Writing gut sure likes to act up with it’s irritated. >.<

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