Every convention I’ve been to, I’ve walked away with a variety of delicious tidbits, like chocolate chips in a cookie. Sometimes information is repeated over and over in a weekend, such as “treat your writing like your job and show up to work.” Other tips or tricks I hear once, and they float in my thoughts for weeks to come.
I’m reminded of one of those bits of information every time I sit down to work on my epic fantasy. It is this: you might not have the skill yet to tackle some story ideas, and you’ll need to come back to it later when you have more skill.
The epic fantasy that I’ve been working on is one that has perplexed and stumped me for nearly two years. It was the story that I attempted when I failed my first NaNoWriMo. I struggled with the story for most of the year last year. I put it on a long pause last November, in order to start the Mel Walker story, and tried picking it up again in February.
I’m still struggling with it.
There are a few reasons that this story is harder than others. For example, I’ve plotted out more of it than I usually do. I’ve spoiled the story for myself. There is still more for me to discover, but not as much as there was with the Mel Walker story.
Another challenge with the story is the premise itself. I’m dealing with a troupe of characters that are awoken from being imprisoned in stone, and they have no memory of how they got there. This amnesia is pivotal to the main plot of the story, but it raises the difficulty of writing the story substantially.
On top of these challenges, I’m working hard at improving the overall quality of my prose. I feel like I’m juggling flaming chainsaws.
On the bright side, I’m a better writer than I was when I first started the story. The rewrite has produced a much stronger start to the book, and I am much happier with it than I was.
I think I just need to take a deep breath, hold my nose, and jump in. I’m typing this into Scrivener, not chiseling the words into marble. I suppose I am setting my words in stone, if you consider the silicon in electronic media, but that’s getting technical. The point is, I can easily change whatever I write, so why not just allow myself to make some mistakes?
The problem is that I might be trying to work on a story I’m not ready to write, and it might be a better use of my time to simply put A Clean Slate away and work on something easier. I don’t want to do that, but it might be the smarter thing to do.