I did not pick up the Heimdal story the next day, or any of the other days after. It's still in my drawer, waiting for me to decide why I did such an about-face on it. I was very excited about the story, and then suddenly the floor dropped out on it. Some of it has to do with my mood swing rollercoaster and nothing to do with the story itself whatsoever. But that's passed, and I find I'm still reluctant to pick up where I left off with it. I have been thinking about it, however, and I'm beginning to have an inkling of what's going on. You see, I started the story with a specific market in mind. The market publishes novella-length paranormal romances, with a strong emphasis on dark and sexy. Sexy, as in at least one pretty explicit scene per novella.
I've eyed the market in the past, because I like the paranormal romance part of it. I like the novella-length part of it. The explicit sex part, not so much. I finally decided I'd try to write a story for it anyhow--even if it turned out horribly, I'd have the experience of writing the sex scene. But the place I ran aground is, sure enough, just about the place I need to write the big sex scene. Am I stalled out because I don't want to write the scene? Or am I stalled out because I don't really want to publish anything that contains explicit sex? I kinda like being able to show my stories to my kids, now that they're old enough to read most of what I write. (Although I hesitate to believe they'll have much interest in the romances anyhow.) I want to be proud to claim my stories.
Or maybe it's a little deeper than that. Maybe it's because I like the characters more than I'd anticipated I would. Maybe it's because there's this little voice in the back of my mind whispering, "Dude. You could so work all this good stuff into that other Loki story you already have in mind and make the two into one even more awesome story." So maybe it's more about the characters and their conflicts outgrowing the vehicle I'd originally planned for them.
And yet, there's this other voice, the one that sounds nagging and condescending, telling me I'll never sell anything if I don't settle down and finish what I start. That voice says to just finish the last few damn scenes and try to sell it, because selling = success. My gut instinct is to slap the nag out of that voice--except it may have a point. I probably need to finish the story I started, just to see that I can do it. And then I can reassess and decide what comes next.
In the meantime, however, I have set out a couple of non-writing tasks for myself over the next week or two. Generally speaking, once I commit to other projects which take up my normal writing time, the muse will show up and demand to have her time back. And then I have leverage. Seriously, it takes a very clever person to outwit herself like this. At any rate, I have piles of home movies in VHS format piled on and around my desk and have purchased a video capture adapter thingy to transfer the VHS movies to my computer. And I will be painting the two downstairs hallways this week. If the dental work I have done on Monday leaves me feeling up to it. I need bridgework, but first they have to extract this molar. SO not looking forward to it.
2 days ago