I'd been solidly working on my new novel for several months when all of a sudden I had a panic. It happened about 50 pages in, and I found myself worrying I wouldn't be able to finish it.
Since I knew the set-up, it was really fun and easy to write. But as soon as I got about 10,000 words in, I started to fear I wouldn't be able to think of anything else good. Does this ever happen to you?
A friend of mine said yesterday, "There's a difference between writing everyday, and writing a cohesive book."
Yep, that pretty much summed it up. Would I ever be able to write another book?
About the same time another friend, who had been struggling with her second book for a very long time, called. "I have solved my second-book-block!" She was ecstatic.
She went on to explain that with her first, she was able to be creative and try new things. She would allow her characters to venture WAY off the outline and see what they might do. Conversely, with her second, she found that if she didn't know exactly where the book was supposed to go, she'd freeze. She was scared of taking chances and mixing things up. Once she allowed her imagination to run wild again, a new book started to form - and she was having fun.
Her comments resonated because when I wrote KISS, I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I wrote it all out of order and went back and changed the storyline four times - the last time changing the whole genre! But for some reason with this new one, I felt like I was a bonafide writer now so I needed to know exactly how to crank out another novel- and quick! How much time can one realistically spend allowing their characters to play out of the box? If I let them run off the outline, would I be chasing them for years?
Thank God for writer friends who set me straight. They taught me that I needed to trust my characters. Let them fly. I had simply lost my mojo for a minute, but I could get it back.
And they were right. This second book is gonna be epic :)