The really satisfying days start with a punch to the face.
Not usually my face – although there have been exceptions – but there is something very satisfying about kicking someone else’s butt. Literally.
I’ve found myself, over the past few months, thinking of bits in No Man’s Land and the associated writing I was doing. Sentences keep coming back, and I keep thinking of parts I loved. I wonder about dipping in again, or find myself explaining bits and jokes and snark to Otter. It’s sort of bubbling back to the surface…
[Crib notes: modern urban fantasy with two magical people, who are incidentally exes and also incidentally hate each other, trying to save the world. The slight spanner in the works is that everyone might be going mad. It’s fun.]
I paused on NML because I’d had feedback that the first third needed to be better integrated – and they’re right. The danger needs to start sooner, and it can – that’s fairly easy to do, in plot terms.
But when I got that feedback, I was deep in burnout. I knew what I needed to do and I could see the shape of that, but when I started writing it just… didn’t come. Went flat. It was all words and no characters, no emotions, no flow.
I reluctantly put it aside when life went to hell, and promised myself I’d go back to it. And that fact it’s bubbling to the surface suggests that I should.
But I am scared.
I know that diving back in is going to bring back a lot of memories and emotions; I tend to write with a word cloud mixed with music mixed with emotions, and every book has a different one – so bringing that back again is going to hurt. The book was written at a very different time in my life, so that’s going to have memories; it has a lot of people and associations that are going to be hard to process.
And simply in writing terms, too, I’m going to have to dig back in. I’m going to have to figure out how to work it. I’m going to have to remember a whole bunch of stuff and backstory and details and then figure out how to change it.
But… diving back in might be good. I’ve had a break, and levelled up as an editor, so looking at this with fresh eyes will be good for it and for me.
It’s just going to hurt. And I’ve had so many hurts of the past few years that I don’t really want to face another one – it’s going to require a lot of falling down and getting up again, and I’m going to be falling on already-bruised knees, if that makes sense.
Well, no one ever said the writing life was easy.