Friday, November 23, 2007

NaNoWriMo and Inner Demons

This year, I have too many half-done projects to start a new one, so I'm using the month (and the Catholic Writer's Guild challenge, 30K for Christ) to work on The Miscria: Hero Psychic. This is the third book in the as-yet-unpublished Miscria Trilogy. I've had the story in my head for two years now, but couldnt' make myself write it down. Even now, I've got mixed feelings about it.

On the one hand, I'm at 15,000 words and the story line is starting to take shape. I have a very general outline of events, but this always changes in writing.

However, it's not been a comfortable experience for me. You see, I've been trying for seven years now to sell this trilogy to a publisher or agent. So far, the best replies have been rejections. About half of the folks (and these are reliable agents I've checked out) haven't even bothered to reply to the original message or follow-up. So even as I feel driven to finish the trilogy, I'm also confronted by my personal demons: inadequacy and low self-esteem. Am I just kidding myself, wasting time and losing money on a hobby I pretend is a career? Other authors, some of whom I frankly think I'm better than, are well published in big publishing houses. So what am I missing--and why can't I seem to find it when I let the house go to waste and feed my kids too much pizza and burgers while I pursue it?

This is why I'd put off finishing this manuscript for so long, and now that I've dedicated my month to getting 30K words into it, I find myself battling these thoughts on a daily basis. Do I need a contract from Tor or do I need to give up, accept that I'm a fairly talented, but mid-range author, and settle for never seeing my books lining the bookshelves next to Mercedes Lackey's latest?

Second, there's the problem I mentioned above--no matter how carefully I imagine my stories or how detailed my outline, the characters change it when I actually start to write. Deryl has completely thrown my plans out the window--he's grown up in the months I left him festering, and he understands his place on Kanaan better than I imagined. Of course, that means I needed to revise the conflict--and I needed a new reason to send him back to Earth. Of course, no sooner had he solved that than I realized my Joshua-Sachiko subplot won't work: it takes too long and doesn't really add to the story. But it's fun, and it's the one I've been imagining for two years, so now I'm back to square one with them.

I'm 8,000 words behind, but I couldn't stand the house any longer, adn cleaned it just in time for thanskgiving weekend, which will mess it up again. The holiday season is coming--and for a squadron commander's wife, that means extra (though fun) obligations. I have a list of things to do and people to contact for CWG and the conference. I'm beginning to daydream about being able to split into four people. Such is the life of a stay-at-home writer/Mom. Frankly, it's probably about the same for anyone for whom writing is not a full-time breadwinning career. Still, despite the demands, the disappointments, and the inner demons, I wouldn't give up this life for the world.

I'd still like a juicy contract from Tor, though. Say a prayer, please.

1 comment:

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Thatta girl, never give up. Demons are Muses in disguise who test you constantly to see if you're a Real writer or a Wannabe.

Keep at it and one lucky publisher will finally see what he's got in his hands.