Friday, September 16, 2011

My Writer's Block

Since Druid Derrick is unfinished, I haven't talked about it much. Not since March before last has there been a post about this story. In fact, there hasn't been much work on anything new for quite some time. Promoting my book, being social, building a fan base (I hope), not to mention my personal life and a couple Facebook games I spend way too much time playing, tend to get in the way of actual writing.

I have thought about this book a lot, in fact one scene plays through my mind over and over. When I get there it will pour out of my mind like water from a faucet. But first I have to get there. You see, I have a dilemma. Writer's block, to me has always meant that I'm trying to push my character in a direction he really doesn't want to go. Should I continue to claw my way past this, or should I do some rewriting and make some rather major changes?

My character is in a relationship that started out as a measure to protect her life. Though there is plenty of love, anything close is, and always will be, impossible. To further her protection, she needed a name change and a location change. To hide the danger from her family and friends they got married, but my character isn't a Christian so I thought it only proper they have a Druid Joining as well. This is where I'm having my problem.

Since the relationship, marriage not withstanding, will always be distant, should I go ahead with the Druid Joining or not? Or should I go back and rewrite the whole relationship, tone down the love or even make it only a friendship, make her an object of protection only and no marriage at all? That means I'll have to think of another way for her to have a name change and another reason for her to move to the other side of the country.

Derrick goes to great lengths to be neutral in all things. He sees it as his duty to protect his grove and all the secret, sentient citizens within his reach - the centaurs village, the entrance to the dwarf and gnome caverns and the dryads that people his grove among others. With a few exceptions, humans are not included under his protection. One woman and her daughter are the majority of those exceptions. A police detective and his partner are tolerated, but only if they don't intrude too far or push too hard.

Shortly before this latest relationship, the one that's giving me so much trouble, Derrick has been going through an emotional roller-coaster, and maybe it's too much for too long. I suppose I could have him simply change his mind. What do you think? There is a spell on his place still in effect that prevents anyone from telling lies. It would work on him too.

Currently, I've decided to read through another of my works, and then I think I'll read through the last part of this one and see what I can do. Any suggestions would be most welcome. I would even really welcome someone who has the time to read through the whole thing and give me some feedback. There's nothing like another pair of eyes behind a different brain.


Unknown said...

I have two suggestions, either/or.
1. How important is the joining in the world of your characters? Unless the lack of such a thing would become a major factor in your story, things may just flow more naturally to avoid a situation that causes such conflict in your character mind.

2. File the story away as read only or use calibre to make a copy of it for some reading device where you can't change what was originally written. Now make a file of notes for how you could change it. Go crazy! As what you already wrote is safe,just write down anything that comes to mind. Now after two or three days, take the protection off your file or make a new copy and fix it to reflect your notes.
Render the rewrite unchangeable, and start with the notes again.
Just keep the notes-rewrite process until you can't come up with any more logical notes you'd be able to use. Now put the rewrite away for a week or a month before you even read it again.
You will be amazed how much you like the story when you finally let yourself read it again. Sure, you'll still probably want to file/reshape it in small ways to make it pretty, but a little time off can allow you to heal and remember what you loved about your writing.
So whatever, I went on a bit longer there than I intended, your story just reminded me of my writing of a book I started 2-3 years ago and finally had the guts to publish a week or two ago.
Good Luck!
-Sarah Baethge

Anna L. Walls said...

Oh wow - thanks Sarah. I'm not sure I'll go to all that trouble. I have no problem with changing the weave of my stories; that usually leads off in some interesting direction, and if I like something about what was left behind, well I can just work it in later or shed a small tear and let it pass (or maybe it'll show up in some other story altogether. haha I just go with the flow.

Still thinking about it. I never heard of this strategy before. I may try something of the sort one day.

Alexandra Kinias said...

Anna, I got the impression that your character has second thoughts about marriage. I felt that you were the one pushing her into that direction.

Is it possible for you and your character to have a talk together. She needs to tell you what she really wants do with her life, and relationship.

Roy Durham said...

Anna this may help you with the story and what should happen. it.s mouse fault

i have not read the story so i am not sure is based on the druid beliefs or what, but it may give some ideas

Anna L. Walls said...

Thanks Roy. I have a document very like that. It was going to be a scene in the story. I'm thinking this will not occur, at least not at this time. I'm thinking Derrick will keep his distance. Maybe later, we'll see.