My SO and I have been house shopping. I find the process very stressful. Especially since we are house shopping while I attempt to write my next novel… and the closer we get to finding that perfect place, the more stressed I found myself becoming because we’d be moving while I attempted to write my next novel… and moving sucks; life, energy, and creativity out of a person.
For a month, I struggled to put words on the screen. Then it hit me one day; this book, with it’s very intricate plot and twisty pathways, just wasn’t going to work during such a high stress period of time. During this time, writing hasn’t been a stress reliever, it’s been a stress inducer. A daily torture as I attempted to meet lofty word goals on a plot that required more attention than I could dedicate.
So, I switched plots (meaning, I switched serial killers). The plot is still intricate. The killer still demanding. But it isn’t the draft I had been hammering out (which involved the return of several characters and a contract killer). I moved five chapters into a new book and started over this morning. And the words started flowing. I banged out a modest three chapters this morning, more than I had put down in the last two weeks.
My word count goals are still lofty, to say the least, but at least it doesn’t require me to keep stopping and looking at my research. Or require me to double check my plot lines for holes I have missed during this stress-filled writing frenzy. The realization that some books require more attention than others is an interesting one.
And that realization has given me some clarity. While people like to complain about Mercurial Dreams, it is actually the book that I had to put the most thought into… The plot and unanswered questions required far more work than any of the others. Suddenly, its status has been elevated to being my personal favorite. It really is all about perspective.