Monday, August 30, 2010

When Inspiration Dies

I am writing this because I am not writing anything else.

I should be working on Gold Mountain, the Klondike Gold Rush book number three. The book is coming along very well. I’ve had the idea for this story almost from when I first imagined setting a series in the Yukon in 1898. It’s not going to be a “murder mystery” – I hate that phrase anyway, I think it cheapens the complex crime genre – because there is not a murder and there isn’t much mystery as to what is going on.

I’m hoping it will be a fast, fun adventure/chase story.

So why am I not working on it?

Because I can’t figure out what to do next. Let’s say the journey is from A to Z. The characters are now at W. I know what happens in Z. I am just not sure of X and Y.

So I’m taking a break. It’s a very lovely hot end-of-summer day and I will enjoy it.

This will be my tenth published novel(scheduled for publication Fall 2011), and the nice thing about having so many books under my belt is that I have absolutely no worries that I won’t be able to come up with X and Y.

When I took creative writing courses at Sheridan College lo these many years ago, the first day of one class we had to introduce ourselves and talk about what we’d written, if anything. One of the students said she’d begun four novels and had written about two hundred pages in each and then never finished because they weren’t working out. The teacher told her that everyone gets into a rough patch, and you just have to work through it. If you give up when the going gets tough, so to speak, then you can guarantee that book will never, ever get finished.

It took a long time for me to realize how true that is. I now know for sure that I can trust my characters, if not myself, to work things out.

Aren’t we lucky that in writing fiction ‘working through it’ means having a walk on the beach and then home for a swim?

2 comments:

Rick Blechta said...

Whenever I get stuck, I just throw some Pandora bangles into the storyline, and things take off from there. Just ask Anonymous.

Order some and see if I'm wrong! It's never failed me yet. Good old Anonymous...

Donis Casey said...

Sometimes you just have to wait for that old magic to happen, Vicki, but as you said, it always does.