Good morning, friends!
Just like a good book, life has unexpected turns and “plot twists.” And recently, I had one of my own.
After much prayer and thought, I have decided to lay off working on Checkmate for a while.
Let me explain why:
When I first started writing CM, I had very little knowledge of writing. I was arrogant and rejected a lot of the advice that I received. I wanted to do it my way, so I did.
They said don’t write fantasy for your first book. I wrote fantasy.
They said don’t have more than one POV for your first book. I had four.
They said outline, it will make it easier. I scribbled out an outline to say I did it, then threw it out the window.
While I don’t regret writing fantasy, I do wish I had stuck to one POV and spent more time plotting. I took on too much for my first attempt at a longer project.
One of the main flaws in my thinking was this: “Because I’ve read so many books and seen so many movies over the years, I don’t need to study plotting.”
Some of my friends can testify to me saying that to them. But as I started editing CM and looking at it from a critical perspective, I started to notice the flaws.
Because I hadn’t plotted, the storyline isn’t correct. And I also realized I had the wrong main character all along. I had never connected to the supposed main character, but really liked a secondary character. It turns out that the secondary character is the actual hero of the story.
While I’m sure that at some point I’ll be able to fix the problems with CM, I can’t do it right now. And there’s a point where trying to fix it will just make the issues worse, much like trying to untangle a pile of yarn—the more frustrated you get, the tighter the knots become.
I haven’t spent as much time as I should have studying the craft and learning about writing. There’s a lot of things I don’t know and a lot of things that I need to practice before I would try to implement them into CM.
I’ve been working on CM for two years. And I love every second I poured into writing it.
I’ve learned a lot and had tons of fun creating characters, crafting plot twists, and just simply writing. I learned how to write consistently, how to write when I don’t feel like it, how to bounce back from burnout, and many other valuable lessons.
While I’m really sad about giving up CM, I know taking a break will make me a stronger writer. In a few months, I plan on re-evaluating and see if my thoughts are still the same.
So, what will I be writing now?
Well, ever since I started this blog, it’s taken a backseat to CM. It’s time to invest more time and energy into writing posts. I’m tired of scrambling to write posts Friday so they can go up on Saturday.
But no more.
I’m working on a “vision statement” for blogging, to help me hone my focus and serve you all better!
Nonfiction writing is going to become more of a priority for me. I’m hoping to guest post more often and maybe get published on theReb again!
I’m also going to start brainstorming a new novel idea to practice on. I want to work on something without any tangles already in it so I can get better at writing. Then I can take what I learn and apply it to future novels, or maybe even CM!
I’m certainly not going to stop writing!
I hope you continue to walk this writing journey with me, plot twists and all!
This will be the final “Where’s Glendale?” post. Since he’s from CM, Glendale is also going on break. But this part of my blog isn’t leaving! In a couple weeks, there will be a new “blog mascot” up to the same antics as Glendale.