"If you don't make mistakes, you're not working on hard enough problems."
If I repeat it often enough, I'll eventually start to feel reassured. Right?
Mood this week is still in the range of "eh" to "blah," with a slight upturn toward "OK." I've made some progress on Crowmaker, in the sense that I'm starting to see what it needs in order to start growing again, and to grow as it needs to. It looks a lot like staring up the side of a really steep mountain right now, but I often find those mountains are easier to scale than I think they'll be once I dig in and start up them. For this week, however, I'm continuing to immerse myself in topics related to the setting and soaking up the ambience. Although I have scribbled down some notes that may come in useful when I go back to trying to write the story.
I also figured out (I think) my two main hangups on "Pale Roses" (the Q3 story that really isn't, for those of you following along at home, which may or may not wind up with that actual title).
I don't like the main character. I can almost summon up some sympathy for Sharon in a couple of places, but then the urge goes away. I understand why I made her as she is--her inability to change and accept and believe is at the core of the story. Or rather, it's the trait the story's plot was built on. But she needs to be more sympathetic.
I tried to summarize the story in a single sentence and came up with: "Order-loving farm wife fights to reclaim her star-maddened husband from God." Which is a pretty decent sentence, except Sharon doesn't actually fight for anything. She gripes and bitches and moans and snipes, but she doesn't really DO anything. And that would be reason #2 why this story doesn't quite work just yet. Figuring this out, of course, is half the battle. So maybe I'll be able to work out the kinks on this story sooner rather than later, after all.
(Wherein the writer, having hit bottom for a few days, begins her slow climb out of the cellar and back into the workshop.)