Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Big Stuck

The day I moved into my apartment happened to be during a particularly rainy spring season. Unless you live somewhere that rain does something different than it does where I live, we all know what happens to the ground when it rains for several weeks.

I was staying at my mother's house until my apartment was ready, and sure enough, moving day greeted us with a steady drizzle. My mother has a long driveway, curvy and hilly, and mostly gravel. Or what is normally gravel, anyways. Moving Day arrived and the rain had turned the gravel into a mushy layer easily lost in about 4 feet of mud. My friends arrived with their van, and managed to get the van up the driveway to the door, no problem. We were golden. Ignoring the drizzle the best we could, we hauled all of my stuff into the van, loaded it to the brim in under 4 hours, and got ready to get underway.

My friend started the van, put it into drive, pressed down the accelorator, and....we lurched forward, then stopped.

Yes. As much as we all should have seen the inevitable happening at some point, given the situation, we somehow thought we could escape the Big Stuck. We didn't. I don't know how much a 14 passenger van filled with the belongings of a single gal, actual single gal, and 3 strapping lads weighs...but it was too much for the driveway to handle.

I won't bore you with the gory details, but we did manage to eventually get the van unstuck. It was filthy. It was maddening. There was an awful lot of swearing, tire kicking, and yelling...and I was barely even helping the poor lads! But, yes, the van got unstuck and my life was moved into my new apartment. We all lived happily ever after.

Except, now I'm writing a book, and I've encountered another...Big Stuck. A Really, Really, Big Stuck.

I'm 54k into the first book of what has always been, in my mind, a trilogy. Only...I'm stuck. I know what is supposed to happen for much of Book 2 and Book 3. But I'm not sure I can write 3 books with approximately 80k+ each. I'm not sure I have that much Story. I refuse to be one of those writers who just goes on and on and on with filler scenes to get a specific word count. I've read those books. We've all read those books. Those are the books that make you go, “Oh my God, just....DIE already, or something! Sheesh!”

SO what do I do? Do I keep waiting for new inspiration? I've gone a week without writing a single thing in my WIP. I've been working on other things, but it's not helping. I have deadlines. Granted, they are self-imposed, but very important for a number of reasons. I've also always wanted to go the route of traditional publishing, I mean, up until a short time ago, there really wasn't other options anyways, but now there is. There are lots of other options...and I keep getting these options presented to me in a way that is starting to sound very tempting. For those of you who may not know what I'm talking about, I'm talking about self-publishing, hybrid publishers, epublishers, etc. The interesting thing about all of these is the death of the stringent guidelines concerning the all-mighty Word Count.

When I get an idea in my head, I tend to grip it with pit bull tenacity and MAKE it happen. Can't be done, you say? Watch me...This is both one of my finest and one of my worst traits. Worst, in the sense that sometimes I really should let go. Some ideas are meant to morph into new ones, not be clung to in a maddeningly obtuse fashion. Am I harming my story because I so badly want to see it take place in three books, laid out in shiny hardcovers at my local Barnes and Noble? Maybe it's not supposed to happen that way. How do I tell the difference between “Giving Up A Dream” and “Achieving Something Equally As Good (If Not Better)”? Is all this talk directed at me about my publishing options a sign or just coincidence? Because right now, I'm really not sure...Maybe this story is meant to only be a book and its sequel. Or maybe, it's meant to be three novella length stories with an epublisher.

The fact of the matter is if I decide to do this story in 2 parts, instead of 3, I could sit down at my computer (which feels like it's overheating by the way....crap....) and pound out about 5k right now, no problemo. And tomorrow, the same thing. But instead....I'm Stuck...because I keep clinging to the idea of writing a 80-100k' do I stick to the original plan or come up with a new one? Am I wimping out by not sticking it out with a trilogy? What good is a "meh" trilogy if a sequel is "Woo Hoo!!" Quitter? Winner? Gahhhh...What would you do?
                                                     (Kind of what I'm doing right now!)


  1. Well, I've been in a similar situation all week. I finally found my way out of my "stuck" at 1am on a work night. Many times a change of scenery can jump start your creativity. Like, if you write at home normally, go sit in the middle of the noisiest place you can find and write. Works for me nearly every time.


    1. Thanks, L~I'm pretty sure a vacation to the Bahamas would kick start my brain...sigh. :)