Last September, October, and November was a very productive period of writing for me; however, since then I have basically been in a wasteland for writing.
I think in the beginning I had to get over a bit of burn out, since writing usually plays havoc with my sleep patterns. Then I had a period where my thinking was that it just wasn't worth the hassle, the rewards were outweighed by the effort. However, this was then pushed aside by the realization that I like to create stories. My current problem is that I cannot gain traction on anything, no matter what I try to write I soon become overwhelmed with what is wrong with writing that story. Here are the list of stories I have tried in the last week or two:
- Hide the Anchovies - My attempt at an on the run story. However, my big difficulty is that I find it more difficult to believe my characters can exist in the real world than in a world which I create.
- The Courier - A story in the same universe as The Shootist based upon a transition touched upon in A Shootist Avenged. This story has been in my mind for years, in fact it created the universe before the shootist ever was an idea. However, there was a scene that proved up a barrier to forward progress. Now I found a way around that barrier, but worry that it may turn out too smutty.
- Chosen - The next Merchant tale. I have a lot of emotion for this series, since it was my first story finished and what I consider my best character and world. However, it is also contains the hardest character and world about whom to write, what with continuance of story and tone issues. I am always nervous that I can only make the next story worse, not better. And because of the difficulty in writing it, combined with the response I have received (a small number of positive responses, though those are usually very positive), I struggle to feel it is worth the effort.
- Revenge of the Pawns - A mystery in a renaissance Italian type of city. All the components exist, yet I am not confident in the filler that is necessary to make the story flow.
- In this Land - The next Manny and Maude story, my problem is that I would be better able to tell Who's the Fairest, which is the 4th of the what I see as 5 Manny and Maude stories.
- The Shootist Bored - The fourth shootist story. Those who have read it may realize that the first three follow a consistent pattern, the first half of the story puts Sascha in a place defining his current world in context of his sylph personality. Then the second half is action based, letting out the shootist. For the next story, the sylph story is fairly firm, but the shootist story is murky.
- The Prophesy - A story in a world that is a conglomeration of the Germanic Holy Roman Empire, Renaissance Italy, Louis XIV France, with a schism in a magical Church. Umm...yeah...I kind of have scope issues here. But the map is done!
A consistent problem across all of these stories is that none of them are short story length. Each is at least a novella, which means that it is not easy to just pick one an power through it and get a win.
I not sure what I will end up getting out of this rut, or if I will. But I just had a need to verbalize (typelize?) my writing issue, I'm hoping it might prove cathartic.