Tuesday, June 2, 2015


It's no secret: I've been having a really hard time with this latest novel. Every time I fix an issue and start to build momentum, it only lasts a short while. Then I'm right back at the "it's broken" phase and I want to quit.

Being honest with myself, I've known the real issue for a while. I "put a bandaid" on it with a quick writing fix a few months ago and then pushed onward. But I knew... I knew it wasn't the right fix, and honestly, I didn't know what the right fix was.

The issue stems around the main character's motivation. She's stuck in a town, working as a slave mechanic and existing at the whim of others. Sure, she's treated slightly better than some of the other classes in the city, but she has no real freedom. She not held captive, either.

It's just that the city is in the middle of a kind of badlands/desert, and she would not survive long out there. Plus there really isn't another safe town to run to even if she had the opportunity.

But she needs to leave the city in order for there to even be a story, and I know where she has to end up.

But her motivation seemed fake, forced. She was going to leave with no real hope of making it out alive. And that just didn't ring true. She isn't the kind of person who would willingly march to her death out in the wasteland.

But I felt almost like having her decide otherwise would be a lie as well.

Then today, I realized the _real_ reason I was stuck. I had written the scene one way, and didn't want to have to do the hard work of rewriting the chapter from the beginning. The minute I decided to give it a try, I felt better.

So I deleted the old chapter and rewrote it from the top. She is young, our main character, and so she would never be brave enough to march off to her doom without any chance of survival.

I won't spoil the key plot point, but I really, really, like the way it played out in the new chapter.

I think her motivation is rubbing off on me!


  1. Great post! I can so relate because I'm struggling with having to admit that I have to scrap my introduction (well, 2nd introduction) and start that part over. Of course, mine is nonfiction and yours is fiction, but even so, good fiction rings true at its deepest levels. I love that you are digging down to deal with human nature in its truest form. The Jute series proved you are a talented writer, so I know the work on this one will be worth it.

    1. Such kind words! :)

      And you make a great point. It will take work to finish this. I always want writing to be effortless. I think I have this ideal in mind where I just sit down and type for a while and suddenly I have a finished piece. Sometimes I have to remember how much work is actually involved!

      By the way, I'm really looking forward to Critter Tales!