Friday, March 2, 2012

Cruel Melody: Now Starring LOLcats!

I’ve had an incredibly hard time writing lately. Part of this is because I feel like I suck at it and will never, ever have my stories enjoyed by the world at large. However, since I always feel that way, I knew this couldn’t be the main reason why I’ve been blocked more than normal. I’m starting to think it may be Fritz’s fault, the protagonist of my current WIP, Cruel Melody.

You see, ever since page one of CM, Fritz has been like this:

There are a few brief chapters where he actually *gasps* embraces a different emotion…

…but that emotion soon spirals into this…

…and soon Fritz is back to being—yep, you guessed it—like this:

He has every right to feel this way, and it’s crucial to the story, but if I’m getting overwhelmed by it, certainly readers will, too, right? But then I remember how I’ve been working on this book since July 2011. That’s a long time to be sharing such a depressive mindset with my protagonist. Readers won’t be with him as long, so maybe it’s not as bad as I’m fearing, and they won’t wish to reach into the book and slap him after just a few pages.

But there’s also only so many ways a writer can describe a character crying, hyperventilating, and curling up into fetal positions. Fritz has easily abused all three of these heaps, so each time one of them happens again, I really don’t know how to write it, despite knowing what to write, because I feel like I’m repeating myself at this point.

So, the solution? To stop writing and start revising from the beginning. Maybe all of these fears are just in my head, and once I reach where I left off, I’ll feel confident enough to dive back into writing. Or maybe they’re not in my head, and by revising, I’ll have enough of the manuscript fixed to write with ease again. Either way, I now have a copy of CM printed out to better appease my Inner Editor. See?

As you may have noticed, I changed the manuscript to look like the insides of a real book—i.e., made it pretty—to better detect suckitude and thwart such suckiness with my red pen. I have a feeling I’ll get obsessed with this, so if it suddenly seems like I’ve disappeared from the blogosphere, that’s why!


  1. The MG I'm working on was like this. I had to revise several times before I got to the end because there was just too much stuff in the middle that wasn't working out. Do what works for you. But I'll miss you out on the internets.

    1. I'm not quite done revising, but I'm hoping I'll be able to be more active online again despite that!

  2. Fritz sounds like a very emotionally draining character.

    I feel that sometimes we channel the emotions of our characters and so get tired from the emotion swings. It can be odd being a writer. We share a part with all our characters and breathe them in our lives. They are us as much as we are them and when they experience something, we're right there with them.

    If I were you, I'd seriously take a few days - a few weeks off writing to recharge. Writing can be difficult at times and it's best to not take it too hard on yourself.

    I'm sorry you feel like your writing sucks. We all go through it but I hope it passes for you.

    1. Yeah, Fritz is emotionally draining. I mean, there's reasoning behind it, but he's so different from the snarky protagonist in my previous WIP that it does take its toll sometimes. Hopefully it'll be easier to write for CM now that I've taken a nice lengthy break to just revise and draw!