I started a new story about the time I went on a hiatus from here. I was really excited about it. Looking forward to working on something different than the never ending, super complicated, throw everything, but the kitchen sink at the heroine WIP I’d been a slave to for so long. So why do I only have four pages almost two months later– computer issues, family drama and a near caffeine overdose aside?
Well, I figured it out a couple of days ago after a writer friend asked me about writing within a structure. Like writing a Presents for Harlequin. So after I sent her my answer, I had an Aha-you big dummy moment.
I can’t write in a box. Too much structure and I either shut down or rebel. I can see how this is true when I think back to my childhood. Coloring within the lines always gave me trouble. When I did make an effort to keep my crayon marks between the lines the picture was always came out jacked up. And paint by numbers. I’d start off good, following the color key and then the revolution was on. The color key was discarded and 4-brown was 4-orange.
Anyway, with this new story, I was so preoccupied with making sure the hero acted a certain way, the setting was in this particular place and other things were in place that I couldn’t write. And when I did try, it was like pulling out teeth with chop sticks. The words on the screen were mine, but the voice carrying them wasn’t. I went days without working on it or even thinking about it. My creative sparkle had fizzled out.
But it’s back. Now that I decided to write the story outside of the box. I’ll keep the publisher’s guidelines in mind, but I won’t let them constrain me. It’ll be interesting to see how the story turns out.
So anyone else struggle with writing in a box?