Image: Monster. via flickr

Image: Monster. via flickr

Yes, it’s been awhile. I owe some Artist’s Way updates, but for now, my reemergence into the blogging world is going to be marked by a bit of venting about my novel-in-progress. Here’s the email I just sent off to a couple members of my writing group about my little problem…I thought I’d share so you, my readers, might have an insight into this sometimes frustrating process called writing a novel! I realize this is the first time I’ve used my characters names in this blog or even really mentioned any details (eve vague & unspecific ones) about the plot. Consider it a fluke or a sign of complete laziness to rewrite the email to take out any “specific” details.

And now, my vent…

I’ve run full-speed, face-first into a brick wall. That new character I introduced a couple weeks ago (a competing, much more well-adjusted, acceptable love-interest for Audrey)…well, I think he officially just turned my story into a trainwreck.

I just realized that he’s caused the story to go off track. Emotional realizations that Audrey has been having weren’t supposed to happen with this guy and they weren’t supposed to happen so soon. Plus, as I’ve continued to push forward with him, I’ve started to wonder how the hell I’m going to make the structure I want with the Simon/Miriam chapters work, because his presence is throwing everything off. With him, I really think I would have to go with a chronological structure and that really isn’t what I want. I see the layout for this story, and chronological/linear isn’t it.

I think I got distracted by a shiny new toy/character (after 3 years with these characters, it’s understandable that I’d want to play with someone new!) and didn’t really think through all the ramifications–like whether or not he starts turning my main character into someone she isn’t supposed to be. I need her to be more vulnerable and the longer she’s around this new guy, the more cocky she seems to be getting. Doesn’t work!!! Plus, these scenes/pages with him are taking the focus off Audrey’s relationship with Simon which needs to strengthen over the course of these chapters so I can rip it to shreds in the second-half of the book. Plus, I really need Simon and Miriam to be the only people in her world when the shit-hits-the-fan so that when she’s forced to deal with everything she’s been avoiding, she’ll have no one to distract her or to run to. I need her to be trapped between Simon and Miriam with no one to get her out except herself. And this new character is just complicating all that!

All is not lost. I know how to fix it. I need to essentially cut the last 18-pages I’ve written (yes, not major when we’re talking 250+ pages overall) and I need to revise my time line so that I don’t have so much time between when Audrey leaves Miriam at the hospital and goes home and finds Simon waiting for her. It’s because I was trying to kill too much time that this new guy showed up. Why I didn’t just shorten the time in between in the first place is beyond me, but apparently I needed to “waste” 2 weeks to figure it out finally.

Vent done. I feel better & can move forward with a character kicked to the curb & minus 18-pages of some actually decent writing if I do say so myself. This is the process. What else can I do….