I've been working on a certain side project since before TAKEN went on sub over two years ago. Whenever I have some downtime, this WIP is the baby I pull out and tinker with. It has been through countless drafts. It's changed POV and tense. It's been stream-lined in some areas and bulked up in others. It's been revised again and again and again and it's still not the story I know it can be, the vision I have in my head. Each revision brings it closer, but something is still...off.
Sometimes I'm convinced this manuscript is trying to kill me. I'll be elbow-deep in revisions and get hit with that pesky wave of doubt that claims, "You just can't do it. It's never going to be what you want it to be. Maybe you weren't meant to write this story."
My debut sort of fell out of me in one fell swoop, which was somewhat
magical. I couldn't type fast enough, and when I finished, the story was
pretty close to the tale I envisioned from the start. But this WIP is a
labor of love, a struggle, a constant challenge, and I adore the
story–the possibility of what it can become–too much to quit.
So I keep chipping away, sculpting and shaping, making it stronger every time I sit down and open Scrivener to write. As the very wise Jenny Martin said on twitter recently: Writing is revising. (And while it's slow, I am making progress.)
The only thing I know for certain is that all books start and end in the same place for a writer: there's a spark of an idea that sends us running to our computers, and later–much, much later–we've amassed several thousand words that we are proud to call our story. It's everything that happens in the between these start and end points that's unpredictable. How the story comes into being depends not only on the story itself, but the writer as a person.
So maybe it's not that I'm not supposed to write this WIP I'm struggling with, but that I'm not supposed to write it yet. Maybe I need another one, two, five years of living under my belt to tell it properly. Or maybe I just need to keep chipping away at it, day by day, until I find my path. Maybe I'm really close and I'll see the light when I round the next corner. I don't know how I'll get there, but I know that I will. One day I'll finish a revision and it will be the revision. The story as it was supposed to be told.
It's funny how stories always seems so straightforward in my head. And then I start typing and well, it's a lesson I seem destined to learn over and over: Writing is just plain hard.
So tell me...Do you have a WIP that is trying to kill you? A story that you believe in and love but seem miles away from completing? Let's commiserate in the comments! :)