Ever had a bang-up start to your story, only to have it crawling on its last legs toward the finish? Well, that’s what my WIP, Little Rooms is doing right now. In fact, I feel like I belong in a little room with padding. And pills. Just to get through it. Why is typing The End so excruciatingly difficult this time?
What makes a story joyful to write, or terrible to get through? I often wonder when I hear famous writers talk about slogging through what eventually became a best-seller. I think that the stories we love to write — that we hunger for every day — are outlets for our fantasies and curiosities. We want to see where the rabbit hole goes, and the stories, along with their amazing characters, pull us through.
Ah, if it was always so lovely. After whipping through A Place In This Life and SWELL with a lovey-dovey heart, I started Little Rooms. The main character, Nicole, is a strong-willed high school senior, hell-bent on going to USC and doing whatever it takes to get there. But when she meets Isaiah, a hottie delinquent transfer who becomes the student she tutors (and pizza delivery guy, among other things), all bets are off that she can keep her good girl facade at bay.
Now, this might sound like a fun story to write, but it’s been particularly difficult. I don’t know why. Am I not in love with my characters? Do they scare me? In some ways, yes. However, I’m still curious and excited to follow them to the end (which is going to take place in about a week). It could be that I’m tired from writing and editing copy during the day. Yeah, I’m out of words. Nope, maybe it’s something else.
There’s always the possibility that Nicole and Isaiah just aren’t Nally and Todd, or the triangular trio of Beck, Christian and Jesse. I wish I could hold those characters to my heart forever, but I had to let them go when I put the cap on their stories. Moving on to something new has been difficult, and I gather this is probably why I feel so… draggerschmidt (just picture it).
Whatever the reason, the discipline is there to keep going and create a story that moves the reader. Thank God for that, because after many months, it feels like my shoes are worn-out and my keyboard is due to leave on a trip to Hawaii in three days.