Welcome to Writer Thursdays, where I unpack my novel writing process from start to finish.
This week we’re going to talk about what happens when you’ve got a project you’re working on, and another starts side-eyeing you from the recesses of your mind. You’re just starting to get a firm grasp on that dragon portal fantasy you’ve been wanting to polish and boom. Like a siren singing its voice upon the wind, that science fiction thriller about monsters and divided lovers starts to whisper your name. Images pop up in your google searches, or a song you hear sets the right tone for that rainy, drowning dome world. You think… maybe if I just put one aesthetic together it will go away.
Insert maniacal laughter.
Okay, so anyone who’s been following this series probably already knows this is what happened to me. Camp Nano started and I one of the stories sitting on my shelf has been half-written for years. SAND & GLASS is in the same universe as Petals & Dust, but so far remote from the portal system by both distance and time that I doubt the characters from the two stories will ever cross paths. It’s about a middle-aged artist who believes she’s been in a severe accident and suffers from psychogenic fugue. She can’t remember her life before seven years ago (or her name) so she’s taken on a new identity, works a job she hates, and is trying to find a way to save her drowning world. What she doesn’t remember is her husband went missing seven years prior and she’s been drugged ever since to forget him, because he knows the truth about their world—that it’s slowly being overrun by body-snatching, deep sea parasites.
Sometimes we must heed the siren call.
I’m using Camp Nano to finish writing the outline and several scenes for this tale. Basically to hash out a dumpster fire draft then shove it back in the dust bin to collect bunnies. But it’s a story I really needed to finish. Once that’s done… who knows. Maybe I’ll just keep on editing and make SAND & GLASS my next polished tale.
My point is… writers have the best intentions with their stories. We want them all finished and polished and ready to share. But sometimes our characters don’t let us sleep, and in the end, they become the handlers who pull our strings until their tales find the sunlight again.
If you like this article, be sure to check out Writer Thursday for more on my adventure from dumpster fire to digestible story. You can also subscribe to my main blog and be the first to know when new content is delivered.