Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Giving up? Or going with my gut?

I've been writing The Crystal Keeper's Daughter for a while now - almost twelve months. I began writing it after a very busy and reasonably stressy time (my trip to India, Mr Squidge's back op) and the story didn't seem to come as easily as Kingstone had.

I tried to write more over the summer - but that was busy too, with Charnwood 2016 and a Flower Festival at church. I confess, I ignored CKD for long periods of time, trying to work out the finer details of  the plot, ending up feeling as though I was simply digging myself deeper into the mire.

Then I was poorly. The cough virus hit me in September and after the initial week in bed, left me six weeks later with a chest infection bordering on pneumonia that took two courses of strong antibiotics to shift. I didn't have the energy to stand up, let alone the brainpower to write. I only started to feel better around Christmas...

So far this year, I've plodded on with CKD, trying to tell the story I want to tell, but writing time has remained somewhat limited by the fact that I am on a course with church at the moment, and it needs a lot of reading preparation. Reading that takes up what would have been writing time.

But on last Thursday, 14th April, things changed. I was doing a book signing in Waterstones, and had taken a notebook in case inspiration struck.

It did.

Effie Purse introduced herself, and told me her story - what she'd found, and how it changed her life. I liked the idea, and went to bed for a few nights after that unable to sleep as I mulled over what she'd told me.

I was excited for the first time in a long while about writing. I asked a few folk what I should do; here was Effie's story, from start to finish. Should I give in to her and write it? Leave CKD on ice for a bit? I don't like to give up on anything I start, and I know that CKD will be a good tale - when (if?) everything clicks into place. And of course, part of me is wondering whether I've actually wasted the last year persisting with a stuck project. Will I be wasting more time if I stubbornly continue writing CKD just because it happens to be my WIP at the moment?

The common consensus seemed to be 'go with Effie if she's calling to you.' And my gut is telling me the same thing. So... I've left CKD where it is and have started to hand write Effie. It's flowing, it's relatively easy, and it feels a bit like Kingstone did when I began to write it.

I'm aiming to get first s****y draft finished by the end of the summer...and edited by the autumn.

Fingers crossed my gut is giving me good advice, and I'm not using the excitement of a new story as a cover to give up... I don't suppose I'll know until the first draft is finished.

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