Lots has happened in the several days I’ve spent avoiding this blog.
First of all, I finally hit 50 pages. Fifty pages! Woo hoo! That is a huge milestone for me – it’s more than I’ve ever written ever before, and since I started this novel, I kept looking at the 50 page mark thinking, once I hit that, I’ve really accomplished something. And it does feel substantial. A meaty amount of words that it would take more than one bite to chew.
So, I hit fifty pages. And then it hit me: all my characters were the wrong age.
(writing this blog post out now, I begin to realize something: I hit fifty pages, one of my milestone goals, and directly after had this ‘realization’ that has frozen me. Is my subconscious at work here, my fears creeping in at a major milestone? Or maybe I’m just reading too much into it. Moving on.)
The age of my characters is something I’d been debating since page one. In fact, I’d written a couple posts here regarding my indecision. I’d decided to put my characters in their twenties, and my protagonist was experiencing a quarter-life crisis of sorts. But I just kept not feeling it.
And then, on Friday, I was thinking about who I’d want to read this book (not considering your audience before you start – rookie mistake, I know). And I realized something: if I continued writing my novel the way I was now, it wouldn’t interest teen readers. I wouldn’t want teens to be reading it. And I want to create something for that age range. YA did so much for me when I was younger. I want teens to be able to pick up my book and get into it, to be able to escape into it.
And thus began the three days of major bummitude. Now that I’ve realized this, I need to tweak/revise what I’ve written so far or I’ll feel too scattered moving forward. So on Friday I said to myself, “I’m going to give myself a day off and start working on it tomorrow. I did hit fifty pages, I deserve a break.” And then on Saturday I said, “I am too tired and/or drunk to effectively begin reworking it today.” And then today I just sat on the couch, trying not to think about writing, and feeling generally discouraged.
And then tonight, while cleaning the kitchen on a distraction mission, I realized something: the longer I put off this revision, the bigger a deal it was starting to become. So I poured myself a glass of red wine, took a deep breath, and now I’m here, collecting all my thoughts before I dig into revising.
I have a small knot of anxiety in the pit of my stomach, knowing I’m diving into the first page now and starting to read some of what I’ve written. What if I get caught up in revision? What if it’s terrible and I lose hope?
But I’m going to drink some more red wine and stuff those worries down. Enough avoiding. The sooner I get this reworked, the sooner I can get my story moving again.
PS – honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking with the whole ‘twenties’ age range to begin with. 90% of what I read is Young Adult. It’s a genre I enjoy. I wouldn’t read a story about lost twenty-somethings because I would be judging it and eye-rolling the entire time. So what was I thinking? Blergh.