The second draft of my nanowrimo novel (2009) is calling out to me and saying, ‘why aren’t you writing me.’ I have many pat answers and excuses, but most of all it’s fear I don’t get rid of the right characters. There were so many sub plots and characters in the ‘vomit draft’ that I knew I had a series on my mind.
The long slog of planning an entire series was avoided, until in a workshop I planned it out on butcher’s paper. For a month I was excited to begin and then said to myself firmly ‘no, I’m just too busy.’ I think I had a photo exhibition at the time. This was followed by asking my draft readers (yes I crazily had draft readers on the nanowrimo novel) which characters they were attached to. More procrastination!
Lately I read book after book in the nanowrimo project genre and write almost anything else, whether it’s a blog, short story, children’s story, song, poem, article, memoir, and still that nanowrimo novel haunts me like a knock from some zombie on roller skates at my dreaming door, saying the problem is ‘you’re not centred and single minded girl.’
How to lean into the fear and just begin? Perhaps I should avoid reading the draft at all, and just write the characters that still call to me.
The books I love whatever their genre have amazing and enthralling characters that stay with you. You care about their fate; you want them to do well; you love their idiosyncrasies They do not bore you; they often surprise you but paradoxically are steady and believable. What’s to fear – I want to create and have others meet characters like that.
My need to meet them overrides my fear.
(Originally written in response to a Write Practice challenge http://thewritepractice.com/excited-about-rejection/)