So, last time I covered several types of writer’s block. I saved the best (or at least the most complicated form, the Things Left Unsaid version. Many, if not most of us, were raised with all sorts of scripts. Don’t rock the boat. We don’t talk about such things. Nice girls (or boys) don’t say that. It is, I think, why I would rather do anything, including housework, than write a blog post. Not only is fiction more fun, but I get to hide behind my characters.
But even fiction takes courage. I had a really hard time completing The Stolen Luck once I realized that it had arguably wandered into the realm of male/male fantasy romance. I worried about all the questions I’d get about what a straight woman was doing writing about gay (well, bisexual, actually) males. (My answer has since become ‘why not’? I’m a person. I write about people.)
I especially worried about the slavery issue. Not that I had any qualms about my approach, since the idea was not to condone the institution but rather to explore what imbalance of power does to the soul of all parties involved I was afraid editors and readers would find the topic so unsettling that they wouldn’t see past the word ‘slave’ to look at how I was exploring the theme. It’s absolutely not your typical master-slave trope story, but rather the antidote. Unfortunately, when you try to turn a trope inside out, it’s hard to pitch it without everyone seeing the original trope.
I actually abandoned the novel several times because I was so uncomfortable with the idea of taking it through the pitch process once it was complete, but the novel kept riding me and demanding to be written.
But I finished it. And I found a publisher for it. And then my editor found the scene that I was still afraid to write, and made me (gently encouraged me) to write it. I did. It made the book better, and the world didn’t end.
I’m proud of the book. I’m glad I pushed outside my comfort zone to finish it. No one stopped speaking to me because of the book, and I managed to create a work that a Catholic Republican friend (yes, I do have one or two of those) enjoyed and found ‘very tasteful’ *and* an avid reader of male/male fantasy called ‘squee worthy.’ How many writers can boast that?
So, my point is, if you find yourself sweeping the walk and washing the curtains rather than sitting down to the keyboard, ask yourself: ‘What am I afraid to say?’ ‘Why am I afraid?’ And then say it and see what happens. You might be glad you did.
Samhain kitty says to remind you that you are following the last bit of advice, like all the advice in this blog, at your own risk. Please don’t sue the writer-person. She doesn’t have much money, and she needs it to buy kitty-crunchies.
Some free writer’s online resources I highly recommend: Continue reading
*Manuscript Makover: Revision Techniques No Fiction Writer Can Afford to Ignore* by Elizabeth Lyon
My new favorite book-on-writing. Really, the name says it all. I’d actually recommend practicing some of the suggestions under the ‘Style’ section in the pre-writing or early daft stage, rather than waiting for semi-final and final draft stage. Continue reading