Amy L. Boukair

Author of the time-travel romance novel Indigo

 

Writing is a Wicked Bitch.

I’ve been tossing the idea of my novel Indigo around for quite a while now. Two years? At least? Well yeah – a long time. I had submitted the first 5 pages to the same contest I had Ghosting in (which didn’t get past the first 50 pages round btw). The feedback was truly good, and I’ve even had strangers from around the world reach out to me to see where the first 50 pages of Indigo were because they were captivated by the story so far. That has amazed me because I couldn’t see how the first 5 pages of anything could snag anyone’s attention, but it made me feel good nonetheless. People really liked Indigo.

So last night I revisited Indigo after our long hiatus, and my creative juices are now flowing again. I made MAJOR changes – changing the voice from first person to third (uncomfortable!), the tense from past to present (tricky!), and finally decided what the story was going to be about (Yay!). My original premise now feels overdone in the market, and the new one I came up with is good. Really good. But complicated. It will be a challenge to write.

Am I up to this challenge? I have no idea. Knowing my history of leaving things undone when the going gets difficult makes doubt dance around maniacally in the back of my mind.

One of my major problems is pacing. I have NO idea how to pace a novel. Short stories - I’m a pro. If I needed to write the whole thing in 50 pages I could do it, no problem. But 350? Not so much. I don’t know when to reveal what. What is too soon? How much anticipation should there be? How much back story is needed, if any? Argh!

Part of me wants to say screw it, just write it all then mess with it later. But the perfectionist (read, chicken) in me says pick it apart as I go. But that instant dissection of what I’ve written is what’s hindering my progress. It’s a vicious cycle.

Yes dear novel, you are.

Yes dear novel, you are.

My goal for the time being is the first 50 pages for that contest. Once I have that in I’ll be able to see feedback from readers and editors, hopefully addressing the pacing among other things. While it’s not my favorite thing, I need the criticism to make me a better writer.

Lots of people say they like my writing ‘voice,’ which is a huge compliment to me. I know it’s rare to have a good writing voice, so I take deep pride in that. I just hope that my ‘voice’ can say the right things at the right time.

Has this whole blog been a delay tactic to avoid doing the work? You betcha. I need discipline, have you noticed? I need to just do the work. Or as my sis-in-law says: JUST DO IT.

That, in a nutshell, is what makes writing a Wicked Bitch. But for some ungodly reason, I still love her...

Original Publication Date: 5/27/12

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