I’m working on a new WIP right now, another children’s fantasy.
But some of you may have been wondering what happened with my NaNoWriMo novel, WAVERLEY.
I’d been wondering myself. To recap, I wrote 50,000 plus words of it during November, 2009.
Then I stopped writing. Something just wasn’t working.
In desperation, I even went as far as to cut 33,000 words from it.
I thought for sure this would do the trick.
But it didn’t.
So I just let it sit there, and for a little while, I had quite a bad case of “I can’t write for beans”.
Slowly, though, I got my confidence back. Which was when I stood back and took a hard, close look at what exactly went wrong with WAVERLEY.
And finally, I figured it out.
I tried to shoehorn the story into something it wasn’t.
WAVERLEY is not a swashbuckling kind of fantasy. It’s really meant to be more subdued, with most of the fun coming from an exploration of the concept. But what I tried to do with it was make it into an epic fantasy. Which it most assuredly isn’t.
What I’d written wasn’t bad, actually. The problem was, it belonged to a totally different story. So I’m glad that when I cut those 33,000 words out, I saved them to a separate file. One day, an idea just might bubble up for me that makes full use of all those words. After all, I’ve got down all the bones for quite a fun, fantastical world already all set out – the bulk of the world building is done, and it’s actually quite a good world.
For the right idea, it could really be something.
And I did manage to fly through NaNoWriMo. I did end up sitting down and writing daily.
In the meantime, though, I’m not ready to write WAVERLEY. There’s a sweetness to it that has to grow a bit in my mind first, I think. But one day, I’ll be ready. And then the story will write itself.
I’ve learned a couple of things from this. First, don’t try to force a story into being something it’s not. And second, writing is never wasted. No matter what. I always do get something out of it, even if I never use those words anywhere.
Have you ever done this? Started with an idea or concept or characters, and then tried to make it/them do things they were never meant to do? And as a reader, have you read any books that made you think the author forced the story into something it really wasn’t meant to be?