Yesterday my husband asked if we’d like to go to the beach. I had planned to start my next book, had the day all mapped out in my head, but as soon as he suggested a diversion, I leapt at it. I did take my notebook along, and circled round and round that nagging POV issue by writing out the pros and cons of the various choices, trying to figure whether I can pull off a first-person narrative from a male character, whether I’d miss any crucial scenes by limiting myself that way. I walked up the beach, assessing the possibilities. Then, when I got tired of that problem, I retraced my steps and headed back along the hard-packed sand, thinking of structure. How to control the pace, how to frame the story. Can I tell it with any hope of approaching what I imagine.
Down the beach, back again. I kept passing my guys, who were building a sandcastle with two spades and a bucket. Drew said they’d built it too high up the beach, the moat would never be filled even at high tide. Tragic.
Today I’m tired and irritated with myself for letting a diversion kill my momentum. I need to get in there and start laying down the story. All that shit about POV and structure is a stall tactic; I’m never right about either during the first draft, so puzzling about the details now is unhelpful. I need to start. One paragraph, a page, a scene. I should write a scene and see how it looks. Maybe I’ll write a scene and revise it and try to establish a voice. Maybe I’ve lost my voice. Maybe I never had one! What if people hate the idea and kill it. Or hate the idea and don’t kill it, but let me wallow around for ten months and tell me later that they knew all along it was a crap idea but felt I needed to get it out of my system. What if it hurts, again. What if this latest trip into the darkness is as exhausting and frustrating and lonely as the last?
Do I really want to do this?
What does your fear look like?