Congrats to Greg Bardsley for nailing my problem right on the head (shut up, John). In his comment on my last post he asked me if I’d always felt hatred toward writing crime fiction and suggested I might just be burnt out on it or it might be growing pains from trying something different. For the record, no, I have not always felt this way about crime fiction. Since I moved from sci-fi and fantasy in my high school days, I’ve enjoyed and excelled in crime fiction. The reason I seek refuge in literary fiction is one of mere laziness. I don’t want to have to create strong characters unlike myself and a plot that not only gives me opportunity for fun dialogue and situations, but also tells a cohesive story. But good writers don’t give up on something just because it’s hard and I’m not going to give up on this book.
The other part of the problem, in addition to what Greg alluded to, is the pressure I’ve been putting on myself. My 31st birthday is less than a month away and I’m no closer to a book deal now than I was last year. I want to be published now even though my book might not be ready. Since I’ve placed these arbitrary time goals on myself, everything that comes off the keyboard needs to be perfect so I don’t waste any time with revisions. But that’s not how I work. My best process is one of multiple messy drafts and lots of exploration and backtracking. I need to get back to that and let myself write the messy first draft this book needs.
The first person bounty hunter stuff is pretty solid. I’ve got lots of practice in that area. But the third person scenes involving an 18 year old girl on the run are killing me. I have absolutely no experience writing this type of story and it plays into every one of my writing weaknesses so it’s going to take a few tries to get it right. Toady I’m going to go back and cut off a bunch of scenes that were taking the story in a direction I didn’t like and start again with it. I feel better about my situation and I’m going to give myself the time and space to do this book right.
And if all else fails, I hear truck drivers make good money and get to travel frequently.