So I’m scratching at the 40k mark for NaNoWriMo, typing away at a rather cheesy scene and minding my own business, when suddenly – end of chapter, and all I can come up with is a feeble “now what?”.
Seriously, I’m trying to add to the romantic subplot (which is really just the main characters getting their shit together and trying the whole adult relationship thing, so not even that complicated), and I finally managed to come up with some decent dialogue, and now that I’ve reached the “we’re officially dating now” part, it’s like my brain went “oh, good, you’ve finished that part, good luck finding a decent way to start the next chapter, I’m outta here!”. Leaving me staring blankly at the screen and wondering what to do next.
It’s not that I’ve run out of plot; I have plenty of that. Or that I want to add drama and don’t know how (there won’t be that much drama, anyway). Or even that I know what’s supposed to happen, but have no idea how to write it.
I just have no idea what comes next. Like, should the next chapter be the one where Tyra begins her training? Or the one where Petri is criticised for going out with a “tavern wench” when he should be looking for a bride among the other Jarls’ daughters? Or maybe just a scene or two with everyone being normal for once? But what if that’s boring? Readers don’t like getting bored, so something should be happening. But isn’t this also a story about Tyra finding a new home, rebuilding her life before she has to fight for it – again? If I never show any part of that life, does that fight even matter? Do people even care why people in books fight as long as there’s magic that goes BOOM? Is “people making friends and realising that their temporary home could actually be permanent” not a thing that counts as “something that happens”?
Gah, I’m confused, and freaking out, and now I really want some coffee but it’s ten pm and that’s not something I should do at this hour. Drink coffee, I mean. The freaking out part is fine.
I’m torn. On the one hand, I want to write good, old-fashioned fantasy that’s neither high nor low, just happily settled somewhere in the middle, without all the over-the-top heroism or all the gritty, dirty, brutal stuff. Not that there won’t be something of both, but I thought it would be nice to have a story that’s not about either a knight in shining armor on a sparkly unicorn saving the day or a street rat getting by via stealing, killing and occasional prostitution. Just… normal people who try and keep their land and people from being overrun and occupied by a foreign army.
But then I think that maybe no-one wants to read that? And since I’m writing this one with publication in mind, I should think about what’s marketable, at least to a degree. I can write the weird stuff once I’ve got my millions safely on my bank account and Peter Jackson directing a film version of my book. So for now I have to ask myself: Is this the kind of story I can sell and that has the potential to earn me at least a modest amount of money? Or should I put it away for a while and write something more… accessible to secure myself a position among the literary folk?
Bwah, life is too complicated, I’ll just go shoot some dragons until I can figure out how to stop thinking so much…
Rant over, Ricarda out.