Novel is Stuck!
Another friendly rejection bringing total to 16, 484 left to go.
I’ve started work on Chwedl again and have realized why I quit in the first place. I’ve written my character into a situation where there are no good outs. Every solution I can think of involves either a little hand-waving, or her getting outside help. While it is very in keeping with the fairytale motif to have her helped by ravens or selkies or whatever, I want her to stand out as clever and resourceful. That means not waiting around for something to present an easy solution for her.
The good news is I opened the question of what to do to my facebook friends (go go gadget internet) and I think I see the underlying problem now. She wasn’t clever at all at the beginning when she was assigned this task and didn’t ask the right questions. So… rewriting! It’s amazing how many of my writing plot issues are solved through going back and fixing earlier stupid. Now, to think about how to keep the Fey character realistic in her answers since she’s going to be as squirrely as possible but anything she says has to be the truth (though not, of course, the whole truth).
Woo, I think I solved it! In the process of writing this post I think I came up with a solution that lets everyone be exactly who they are and still makes it tough for my main character without making it impossible or super tedious (who wants to read an entire chapter of a person sorting rocks? I don’t really want to write it either…).
I read an interview with Jay Lake over at SF Signal (full is here) where he mentions that novels take courage. I totally agree. I love writing short stories. I get to jump in and then be done before I have to worry too much about things. I can tinker with a short story through 10 drafts if I want and it won’t take me years. Novels are different. So many threads to hang onto, characters to keep consistent, words to read over… I’m trying to be brave. I want to tell this story, to finish this novel and get it right. This is my second attempt at a novel. I don’t know if I’ll get it right, but I know at least that I can finish something of length. It’s a start.
All right, now that I’ve blogged my way unstuck, it’s time to go change stones into boulders and rewrite a conversation.
It may take courage, but damn, my day job doesn’t suck.