Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Usual Difficulties

A new project, a new set of problems, it seems.

While Eric is reading my (very) rough draft, I’ve been mulling over a new long-fiction concept. At first I was supposed to be writing a winter-themed short story for a friend’s upcoming podcast, but once I realized that this was something much too long for an audio format I resigned myself to having come up with yet another novel idea.

I’m still not all that great with novels.

While some people can apparently come up with a legion of characters, a main plot and a half dozen subplots with ease, I struggle to keep one story line coherent. I’m always afraid that I’m going to end up sounding ridiculous or implausible with my plots and dialogue. I’m beginning to come to the point where I don’t care about the end result and plow forward with a feverish determination, but I still have enough self-doubt that it’s holding me back.

I want to get started on this immediately. One of my biggest fears is the loss of interest in a project, and time and time again I’ve been on fire for an idea only to stop caring after a few short weeks. Now I immediately begin to panic when I don’t set upon a project at the first thought of it, worried that I’ll somehow lose the passion somewhere along the way. I’m fairly certain this line of thinking was responsible for my eighteen-day draft of Teahouse, especially the last two days of it. All I could do was type, screaming silently in my head, “Get it out! Finish it! Don’t stop until you see The End!” I was so worried that I’d quit caring, even that close to the end, that I had to push the story out despite the fact that I could have spent a bit more time working on the details.

Thanks to my “motivation issues,” I now have two hundred pages of plot with no trace of subplot, character details or emotion. Nice.

Here I am now, with another semi-formed story, feeling the urge to push my way through this yet terrified of screwing it up or leaving it half-finished. I suppose I could go back to something I really have left sitting unfinished, but all I can think about right now is this story.

On a related note, Eric is reading my draft of Teahouse now. I told him, jokingly, that he should change his away message to “Reading my girlfriend’s first novel. Don’t bother me.” I didn’t think he’d actually do it, but he did. Something that small and insignificant made me feel giddy.

Here’s hoping the book stands up to some criticism. I’m very nervous waiting for his reaction to it.

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