Or, So I May Or May Not Have Cheated on My Novel-in-Progress with Something I Can’t Get Paid for Writing
Simple question, simple answer: because it reminds me why I like writing stories.
My muse has dragged himself out of the gutter to actually help me on some words the last couple days, which has been great. Some of them were even on my novel. It felt less like pulling splinters from my brain with un-sterilized tweezers.
But last night when I sat down to write, and words wouldn’t come easily on the novel, I tried something else. Sometimes switching tracks is what you need to do to get in gear. So not any of my other romance novels–something completely different. Monty Python style.
I decided to start winnowing out a plot to a piece of fan-fic I had only the vaguest of ideas about.
It’s some sweet Hogwarts action, nothing to do with Harry and friends, and set…now, I guess. Basically just well after the demise of He Who, Etc., in order that it can be entirely unapologetic in its shallowness. So perhaps it’s less fan-fic and more shared-world fic. Whatever you call it, the words and ideas flowed easily. I didn’t have to think about the setting, because I knew the setting, and some of the constraints and situations the characters will face as a result of that setting.
I started writing the opening scene with only the mood of the heroine in mind. I didn’t need to know more, because I was happy to let her tell me about herself. I literally had nothing but the title (“Secret Slytherin”) in my mind when I started.
The ease of the writing reminded me how much I enjoy writing, which is a feeling that has been sadly lacking for me for a while with the current project. The flip side of having the story in place is that writing it out ceases to be an act of creativity and becomes an act of description. The creativity happened long ago; this is just describing what came out of that mental storm.
But with this piece I was writing pretty much as I had ideas. Just jotting notes and exploring facets of the characters as they came to me. It was a joyful piece of writing.
And it invigorated me on my other story, too. I am a little more inspired to keep going, because I’m reminded that there is a story I want to finish reading in there. I’ve just lost track of it under the weight of obligation and expectation. I needed a break, and I needed to be reminded why I love putting words down on paper not just into opinions but into stories.
So even if I can’t do anything with SS, it’s still serving a purpose for me.
And, hey, if it becomes a novel that no one can put down, I can always just start changing those 10% of details….