My Christmas story is done! Hooray!!!
I’m really happy with it, but wow, did that take forever. Sometimes I’ll start a story and the words just pour out onto the page, and other times it takes a Herculean effort to write a paragraph. With this story, which I titled “The Least Merry Elf,” I ran into both kinds of writing.
My rule of thumb is to not worry if a story is hard to start because by the time I’m about 1,000 words in I’ve usually gotten comfortable enough with the character whose point of view I’m writing from for things to start to flow better. That happened with this story, and yet I’d hit wall after wall. I’d even know exactly what I wanted to write, and yet getting the words out was ridiculously hard. Then I’d get to another point and things would go super fast, and I’d realize I’d just written several pages without even thinking about it. (This story ended up at almost 5,300 words.)
Sometimes when I have this much trouble getting a story out that means I need to make a change and write something other than what I planned. But I’ve also learned that if I keep writing, I can often get past whatever is holding me back. It’s just that it’s never clear which approach I should take. Should I stop writing the story and wander around thinking about possibilities for a week or two? Or should I write through – and past – the challenging part, then revisit it to see if there was truly something wrong with the story, or if instead I was procrastinating? And then there’s the third option, where I’ll skip the troublesome piece altogether, and come back and deal with it later.
Since I had a deadline for this story, the only option was to write through. 🙂
That actually turned out to be the right approach. I have no idea why I kept getting bogged down. Maybe it was that I was writing a Christmas story before Halloween. Maybe it was that I’ve been working mostly on new projects for the past few months, and I want to get back to the novel and the partially written series. Or maybe it was that I just need a week in Hawaii… 🙂 Whatever the reason, the story is done, and I’m pretty pleased with it.
Now I’m back to Halloween!
I’m going to start posting author profiles this week, which will be really fun. I’ll also be posting witch-related articles to get into the spirit of Halloween.
And last: Starting tonight, I am returning to the novel! It has been patiently waiting for me to finish making revisions and return them to my editor. I am SO excited about getting back to it. I really love this story, and I can’t wait to finish it!!!