Every now and then, a writer faces a dilemma. An idea that seems brilliant at the start of a novel begins to feel tedious later on – day by day becoming a chore instead of a joy.
I’ve been struggling for months to finish an urban fantasy based on a wonderful Christian legend. I was so inspired and it all started when I encountered a lovely little specialty spice in the grocery store, mastic.
I sit down nightly, open the file Tears of Chios and just stare at the words. I push forward, reading through the drivel I hammered out the previous inspiration-less night. It becomes frustrating. Since beginning Tears of Chios, I have written and published Dead Trees, DRAG.N, and have a completed upcoming novelette Earth Bounty. In addition to these finished works, I have several other pieces in various stages of completion. And yet… Tears of Chios still sits, lonely at 60,000 words. I’m so close to the climax and resolution, but my characters are fighting me every step of the way.
I have to ask myself: Why can’t I let this story die? Shelve Tears of Chios and admit defeat. Simple: Tears of Chios is the very reason I started writing again. Maybe part of me realizes that by finishing the story, I am saying goodbye to the characters that started it all. After all, Tears of Chios isn’t a planned serialization. It’s a singular, standalone fantasy and once I type “The End,” it truly is… the end.
So maybe it isn’t that the idea has died. Maybe it’s my inability to let go and let my characters be free of me. I wish I could. Tonight I’ll try again. I’ll sit down at my computer and have a heartfelt chat with Renee and Kat. Shake hands with Mark and thank him for being a standup guy. Maybe I’ll even run my hands up and down the jeweled surface of Mikolas’ well-defined torso. I mean, if Kat can steal a feel of the sexy Greek, then surely I can? I mean… I am the author, after all.
While the death of an idea may not be the case for Tears of Chios, it happens. We authors have to learn to cut the cord and move on to things that truly inspire us – break the cycle of creative block (not to harken back to WSADHD). Maybe later, the once brilliant idea will be re-infused with inspiration and “The End” can finally become a reality.
p.s. Wish me luck in resolving my issues with Tears of Chios and its quickly-approaching print deadline.