The Muse Is Back

My urban fantasy WIP has been giving me trouble for quite some time, as I have mentioned before. Featuring intrepid supernatural private eye Cass Brown and her sexy vampire sidekick, the problems began when I submtted the first three chapters of the first draft to the T Party. Who ritually flayed it. The problem was, I couldn’t really disagree with the criticisms they offered. So the manuscript has been sitting on my hard drive ever since, while I sit there and stare at my ‘notes’ files trying to figure out how to fix it.

The other problem, as I have also mentioned before, is that I got sick to the back teeth of sexy vampires, and lost all interest in writing about yet another one.

For a while I was letting the whole thing simmer in my mind, hoping a solution would come. More recently I’ve started to get a bit stressed about the fact that I haven’t been doing any writing. The first novel in the amateur sleuth series is now finished, but I don’t yet feel focussed enough to start on the second one (and to be honest I’m always reluctant to start the second book of a series before the first one has sold). I thought it was time to get back to the urban fantasy but didn’t know where to go with it, and then I fell into a cycle of categorically not writing, and feeling guilty about not writing.

But as I was eating my lunch today, sitting in Eat and quietly minding my own business, suddenly the timer in my head, that has been patiently monitoring this simmering manuscript, went ‘ping’. It’s ready. Or, as Stephen King puts it, the Muse shat on my head.

I know what to do with the manuscript. I know what character I’m going to replace the sexy vampire with. I know how to fix the plot problems. I’m not saying the second draft will appear flawlessly on the page – I know myself better than that, and it’s going to take a lot more rewriting before this story is anywhere near ready to go (especially since the plot fixes I’ve got in mind will pretty much involve scrapping the first draft and starting over). But I feel I can sit down and start writing again, instead of angsting about the empty page.

And that’s a pretty good feeling, let me tell you.


6 comments so far

  1. Nerine Dorman on

    Always lovely when you have that “a-ha” moment. Got that with my YA urban fantasy I’m rebooting as an adult novel. Suffice to say the solution had been staring me in the face for months. If in doubt: just add a carnival side-show and run away with the circus.

    Now if only I could do that in real life…

  2. LM Preston on

    Yay! Writing again is a good feeling. Besides, sometimes you need to have time away to just ponder things and create a better story.

  3. Sue Guiney on

    I’ve just discovered you from another blog I just recently discovered. I think we, and our blogs, have a lot in common. I’m a writer (2nd novel due out in Sept, poetry collections, plays) and I blog about the process of living and working as a writer. Thought I’d say hi and introduce myself.

  4. Michael Keyton on

    Hi Sara,
    Maria recommended your blog, and I’m glad she did. Thanks for an enjoyable read. I’d ‘follow’ you, if I could find the link, but I’m not very techie, and more familiar with blogger than word press.

  5. Joanne on

    Isn’t it a great feeling to get back into that writing “zone?” It’s a great place to be! I clicked over from Maria’s, enjoyed browsing here …

  6. Terri on

    Hi, I’m Terri and dropping by via Maria’s blog block party.

    Awesome moment and I’m glad to have read your post. Send that muse my way, I’ve painted myself into a plot corner!

    I’ve bookmarked and followed where I can and I will most definitely be back!


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