This week was a bit of a washout as far as getting any real work done on finishing up my work-in-progress. I am now also blogging each friday on the Best In Fantasy Blog, and this requires me to read books(!) and then review them. I have accidentally made myself a job that is (for me) a dream job – I ‘have’ to read for several hours a day, and then write a book report about it. However I often find myself so engrossed in other people’s works that I don’t really want to sit down and apply myself to my own work!
The only way that I can do both is to be discipined and actually DO the reading AND the writing! I am a big girl…I can do this! I know that if I don’t write in the moring and before 3:00 pm I will probably not write that day. So, I decided to make reading for the ‘book report’ a reward in the afternoon: several hours of uninterupted reading IF I have managed to churn out a decent chunk of work earlier in the day. So far this system is working fairly well. I even get back to writing later, and I don’t feel guilty for enjoying myself!
Despite my lack of enthusiasm for getting down to the real work of writing I did manage to bring ‘The Forbidden Road’ one chapter nearer to completion. My problem with writing this week is not that I don’t love my story, because I do love this series of stories. The problem is more that my story has taken a turn into an area that is difficult for me to write about, but I am striving to do this with sensitivity and compassion: child sexual abuse. The details don’t matter, and little of their ordeal is dealt with directly; but the aftermath of their experience is a large part of the story.
In this book, my protagonists have already been through hell, and one of them has fallen in the course of completing their task for Aeos. Now at last the end of their task is in sight, but they have discovered that the spy for the enemy is a ‘mindbender’ and he has three kidnapped children in his ‘care’. So now my heroes must rescue these children and deal with the evil bad dude. A fitting punishment must be devised for him that is in keeping with the fantasy world that he is living in, and one that will please my readers when they come to this part of the tale.
I have never understood why, but my work often takes the hard road when it comes to life situations. My pen does not seem able to take the easy route when devising the situations they find themselves in. I have the tree of events put together already to take me through this, but it is hard, because my characters are real to me. In each book that I write I find myself at this same point – trying to find a graceful way to portray the most difficult situations that real life hands us, and keep it appropriate for the world that I am writing about. There will never be a book that I write that does not deal with some of the hard things in life, and I just have to face up to the that fact. I just have to get out the tissues and get on with it, because the day will definitely see tears flowing.
All I can hope is that a good novel will emerge from those tears.