I got majorly writerly blocked after #pitmad and just rolled around in multiple manuscripts for a week or two. 500 words here, 1500 words there, nothing major and nothing was GRABBING me. I mean, granted, I really liked doing the Pinterest storyboards for all of them, and I liked talking about them, but usually a WIP reaches out and practically throttles me so I have to write it super fast. Otherwise, I might never breathe again. It’s a little dramatic and I made up words in that first sentence, but you all don’t judge me, right? This is a judgement-free zone?
So I decided I needed to write something without thinking about “would an agent want this? Is this publishable? Where would I want this? How would I want to market this? How would I pitch this?” Because that’s how I’ve been framing EVERYTHING in my head the last two or three months.
I don’t even remember where this idea came from but I ended up writing a little bit about a girl at a very cold small liberal arts college (yes, very very much like the one I attended) who falls for a guy with controlled but clearly evident OCD. He counts, he has set rituals, he has specific hand-related anxiety, and definite fear of intimacy. None of this is unusual for sufferers of OCD. But just imagine being 21 years old and having OCD. Imagine trying to go to school, date, and have a normal life when you suffer from OCD. I wanted to put two characters in that predicament. What happens when two people fall in love and one of them JUST CAN’T touch. Or kiss.
This first draft puts the rough in rough draft. And I’m not talking about the sex (obviously. See above paragraph). But it’s super fun and the MC is easy to access. She has a great voice and she’s SO different from me that I’m able to pull on my experience just in terms of the college and things about the coffeehouse and a cold campus, but she has her own life. She is a little flippant and at points, pretty darn ignorant of the LI’s OCD. Because people aren’t perfect. And someone who doesn’t understand is going to say the wrong things. And someone who really really wants to kiss a guy who can’t get past his own head might get impatient and seem selfish. These are totally normal things. They don’t make her the most likeable person on every single page. But she is relatable and she is real. She’s very real.
So. I don’t know. I’m hoping I finish this draft and hold onto the “just for fun” feeling the whole way through.
Meanwhile, THE KILLING MISTS story is back into revisions because I woke up from a nap and knew exactly what was wrong with it. Slashing and hacking words from it still, and then I’ll print it out and begin to make revisions by hand. I combined TKM 1 & TKM2 together into one book, cut a major plot arc, cut two characters, etc. Making those changes is easier on hard copy, but also figuring out how to run through the stronger overarching plot arc is easier by hand. That stronger plot arc was always there, I just didn’t see it for its potential before.
Magicballoonbook keeps taking a backseat to these other projects but it’s still there. I’ll have been working on this story for a year on February 17th, the longest I’ve ever worked on a book without completely trunking it. I really believe in that book and I’m going to keep working on it until I have it right.
Until next time! May the words be EVER in your favor.