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RoE.d1.day33-40 – behind again leads to changing gears

i’m putting Running on Empty on hold.

i’m behind by about 5 pages, but that’s not the reason. well, it is, in a way. i was able to spend some time talking with a friend about our mutual writing experiences lately and in that discussion i found myself describing what it was like to write toward specific scenes that i’d been holding in my head, when i was writing Witness. just talking about the experience raised gossebumps on my arms, reminding me how much fun that was, how thrilling the process…

…and how i don’t have that with this story.

i still love the story, and it has really blossomed into something that could be not only very exciting and cool, but quite profound, as well. at 115 pages, though, it’s already longer than Another Night…, and I’m only just about halfway through, as i now see it. i’ve been hemming and hawing almost from the beginning about whether i can keep this to the tight and snappy vision i initially had or if it will be a doorstop of a book. given the current length and my enjoyment of the majority of the content, i was leaning toward doorstop.

then i had that experience of describing the writing process for Witness, and i realized something was missing. i think i’ve gotten lost. this has been hard to swallow, because it means that probably 50% or more of what i’ve written so far will be dropped. this sucks. i hate killing my babies. but that recognition, and my resistance to it, only confirmed its necessity.

more than anything else, though, i feel this is a recognition of my own ability right now. i don’t feel capable of writing the profound work that i imagine this story might become.

then again, perhaps i’m wimping out, evading the test of whether or not i can do it. am i simply taking the easy way out by not following through with it?

…and so on and so forth, in an endless loop in my brain.

so, since i can’t seem to make a decision about RoE, i’ve decided to listen to this friend’s advice and return to Another Night…, which has been sitting silently for 6 months, almost completely untouched, and, most importantly, not submitted anywhere.

Seriously? Not submitted anywhere? 6 months and you haven’t touched it?

seriously.

What’s the problem?

i don’t have a good answer to that. well, perhaps i do. i think Another Night… is my best book so far, something distinct, with a powerful cast of true-to-life characters dealing with very realistic problems in a pretty darn cool environment. it’s also gotten across-the-board great responses from my beta readers.

Again, what’s the problem?

well, it took a while for me to get here, but thanks to this weekend’s conversation, i did discover the answer: I’m afraid I’m wrong. I know, I know, it’s a terrible excuse.

You’re bloody well right it is!

i said i knew that. Anyway, it’s true, and it’s wrong, and i’m dealing with it. while RoE sits on the back burner for a little while, i’m returning to Another Night… for one final ‘objective’ pass, and then it’s going out. no more dodging.

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