The weather outside is frightful, but writing is so delightful...
I'm not joking. It's what my husband and I call 'fuck you' weather outside. It's -20 degrees celsius (so -4 degrees fahrenheit) and the snow is coming down hard. It's annoying to think of as I have to get out in that tomorrow to get my monthly blood tests.
Yeah, that's right, I have to have monthly blood tests due to the multiple sclerosis medication I'm on. They have to monitor my white blood cell count as a blood to brain virus could start and I could die. That being said, this is the most low effort, easy MS medication I've been on in the past 4 years. I used to use Copaxone which required subcutaneous injections, at first every day of the week, then three times a week. Being a woman who's scared of needles, that took a toll.
Anyway, onto all things writing (as that's what y'all actually came for, right?). I'm in the trenches of writing the third Gerhardt Detective Agency book, Of Warlocks and Crooks, and I hit the 10k portion of each draft that just fills me with doubt and dread that I either get over or don't. In every book I released last year I got to this 10k deadzone or doubt. Only 2 of them I never got over the doubts of. And those two? Number two in both series.
The Rightful Heir was one of those, "I need to get through this" books. And, really, looking back, I probably should've just put it and The Empire Reborn in one book and just called that one The Empire Reborn. I did a huge shift in my writing style over the last year that was going from 4 years to create a book to a few months.
I started writing The Traitor's Daughter in 2015 and I created an entire world before the one I eventually went with (Gods and Champions setting/Mirruvin and Fyural) to set it in. I had over five drafts, I'd done so much to make that book work. Then, with The Rightful Heir, I just let the story happen. I think The Empire Reborn was a better story than The Rightful Heir and it was much more enjoyable to read.
Of Reapers and Ravens was a story I couldn't wait to get to. I wanted to rush production on The Empire Reborn to get to it (but didn't). And I think my enthusiasm shows. I loved writing the first GDA book but the second one, I think because the twins were split up and I am not completely confident writing a man as my main character (something I'm getting over), that doubt of it being terrible never went away.
Now I'm in the midst of writing the third book in that series and I'm hitting that point of doubt and it's always hard to push through. I'm hitting the 10k mark earlier than I did in Of Reapers and Ravens or The Cursed Pocket Watch. I'm hitting it in Chapter 5, which is good, I think. I need to push through it to get to a better place in writing. I'm hoping to make this book better than the first one in its series.
Of course, the fact that I'm sitting here writing this blog is evidence that I'm avoiding writing on my manuscript. For me, writer's block isn't so much a thing as it's a muck or mire I have to push myself through in order to get to the end goal. The muck and mire doesn't hit until I'm in the midst of it all.
Maybe part of it is that I've been writing first person narrative for the past year and I'm so much more comfortable in third person. I didn't say this before, I think, but The Traitor's Daughter was third person up until a couple months before release. I changed it because beta readers said it was impossible to connect with Wynn that way. I didn't see it, but I followed their suggestions. I still think the trilogy should've been third person as I had intended to do a lot of perspective shifts and, therefore, more subplots there. And I think that's part of why I was having trouble with The Cursed Pocket Watch, just Ambrose's perspective. Spoilers! Ambrose is in the second book of Gerhardt Detective Agency series.
Now, all that being said, I'm finding it easier to write so much more with Ciel's perspective in Of Warlocks and Crooks because she's the amalgamation of all the things I'd thought about using to get over my depression. Well, that and a mixture with a D&D character. Yes, I'm a nerd.
When I head into my Cyberpunk/Science Fantasy series I intend to return to third person perspective. I want to see if I hit that same period of doubt or mire in the perspective I'm most practiced in. That said, when I'm most stuck, I do go work on something else (that may or may not ever be published) until the mire lifts enough to make progress.
So that's a writing tip that I stand behind. If you're in a rut with writing, switch gears, look at a different project, short or long, and work on that for a bit.
Sorry for the rambling, but hopefully it was really interesting to you. Hope you have a wonderful day!