It’s been a couple of weeks, well production wise it’s been a single week. My Severed Fic hit a bit of a SNAFU. This was the first time I dove into a story with nothing figured out, other than the main character.
It’s true that I’m a pantser for the most part, but I enter with a full understanding of the cast and crew and how they will interact with each other. The story tells itself, but I always have a handle on the characters. This is also my first long form fiction that doesn’t take place in Janus – well not technically. So I also did not have two years of world-building to support the characters.
Of course, I think it’s all good. I can just wing it and it’ll be fine. This is going to be an awesome story.
This is the power of having a first reader – who is NOT yourself.
Six chapters in and I am told my by fiancee that the story reads like it was something artificially constructed by someone trying to figure out what will sell. Of course, that is exactly what I’m doing.
The main character, Dedd, is the only part of the story I had fully conceived before production began, and that turns out to be the only aspect that was positive. His voice and character was enjoyable, everything else was rigid and artificial.
The complaints she made synced up beat for beat with the parts of the story I struggled to produce. – Yes, this story produced my first real example of writer’s block. Of course, hindsight is twenty twenty and I know now it was due to the story not working. It didn’t work for her, and somewhere in my mind I knew it wasn’t working for me either.
For example, the story has two false starts. It opens with the main character basically getting geared up to leave town and hit the road. This is false start number one.
On the road he encounters a side character in need of help – In helping this character Dedd brings the character back to the original town where the rest of his people are. They then invite Dedd to hang around… he does for the night.
The following night he is getting ready to go again.. this time the antagonists show up and he ends up basically impaled for the evening, it takes him till the following day to free himself. This is false start number two.
Once freed, THEN he gets to move along.
What was I thinking? I know technically plot things happened. You met allies and enemies blah blah, but psychologically that felt like the most counterproductive way to start a story. It’s like I wrote three different beginnings… one solo, one with friends, and one with enemies.
Anyway, It’s been tweaked and fixed. It reads better now, and after four days since the rewriting began I passed the 16k mark today.
I don’t have a lot more to say, and I still want to try and get more words down before calling it a day. So that’s it for now.