On writing the first seven chapters of Neutral Ground.
Before I decided to write a blog post per chapter of my writing, I had already written six chapters of Neutral Ground for the Possessed by Passion boxset. Today I wrote the seventh chapter. Neutral Ground is an interesting project for me because it's completely out of my genre. I am a horror and science fiction author, not a paranormal romance author but here I sit with seven chapters of what I hope is a good paranormal romance story developing on my computer. The point of these blog posts is to share with you my feelings on the chapters as they are written to give you some insight into life as a writer. Sometimes they will be short and sometimes they will be longer.
Today's blog post will be broken down into seven brief paragraphs about how I felt writing the first seven chapters of this story. Please do comment and let me know your thoughts.
I burned this chapter so many times before I was happy. By burn I mean I sent it to the trash in the program. I just couldn't find a good opening for the story, everything seemed cheesy and cliched. Nothing I wrote felt good enough. the characters felt one dimensional and I was bored with them while writing them, I couldn't imagine how bored my readers would be. Eventually, I consulted Sam and Toni, two of my writing community best friends and bounced ideas off of them. No more burning, I promised them, and off I went to write the first chapter anew. Finally, I've found the flow I was looking for and I am satisfied with the way the chapter introduces my readers to the world I am creating.
I'm trying not to make things confusing and sometimes I feel like I'm trying too hard. It's a constant juggle as a writer. You want to immerse your reader in your story so you want to show not tell, but at the same time some things require explanation, ah but now to work that explanation into a 'showing' format. This isn't easy. This chapter wasn't easy, but it was easier than the first. I enjoyed this chapter because it brought forth some of the magic I'm working with. It's also allowed me to introduce my second main character who I love.
Conflict is important for every story, and now I get to mould the story using the conflict I want. People underestimate the power of good conflict in a story. This chapter was fun to write because I got to annoy my main character, I like annoying my characters even though I know they will make me pay for it later. You might laugh at that but when you're a writer you'll understand what it's like to have characters go off and do their own thing without your consent. They're like little children who don't want to listen.
The plot thickened here but I'm struggling with the word allocation per chapter I've set up. I feel like my chapters are too short and a bit of self-doubt is creeping in that I'm rushing the story and sacrificing plot as a result. I want to make it longer but I also have a word limit for submission. I'll have to have a proofreader and editors opinion on this. The nagging feeling that I should assemble a beta team especially for this story is starting to settle in. ARGH, what if they hate it and I have to rewrite. I'm panicking cause the deadline is looming ahead.
Today is a good writing day and this chapter has a lot of interaction so I'm loving it. All thoughts of a beta team have left my brain for this chapter and I had not realised it though I do now in hindsight. I was just happy to have the words flowing from my finger tips. The story is developing nicely at this point and I'm giddy with excitement.
There I go again, writing myself into a corner. I hate doing that. Oh, wait, it wasn't me! It was those pesky characters I was telling you about. Yup, revenge is sweet Miles and Lizzie, but I'll get you back later. A cliffhanger perhaps or maybe I'll write one of you off. Just kidding, this is a spoiler-free blog :) Still, they just ran off and did a thing that I now have to figure out how to undo. Frustrating!!!
Deadline has been moved up and today I write chapter seven. Now I have to assemble a beta team because I have fourteen days to write thirteen excellent chapters. I've done it before so I know I can but I need to make sure they're excellent and having beta readers check my work while I write is particularly important. I can think of three people to ask so far. After I'm doing with this blog I'm off to ask them, and hopefully, they enjoy what I've written so far. Fingers crossed because I have limited time but I will rewrite if necessary.
Tune in tomorrow (hopefully) for chapter 8's progress. To preorder the set click on the above picture.