Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fiction Fatigue

Scott G.F. Bailey, or Mister Bailey, as I fondly refer to him, had a post on the Lit Lab yesterday about 'fiction fatigue'. What happens when you are half-way through your masterpiece and it just doesn't compell you as it did when you started.

This, I believe, is MY biggest problem with writing. I start out all fresh and bubbling with ideas and scenes, outlines, scraps of paper with dialogue, and then I begin. By the time I hit chapter 10, I'm so sick of my MC's and all their problems I don't care if I ever finish it. So I start another one.

I have one complete finished manuscript that I did query (but found it needs a minor overhaul). I also have four more books in that same Regency series ranging from 10K words up to 65K words. I also have two contemporary romances (22K & 55K respectively) and a YA mystery (15K) that I'm just funning with right now.

I have all these unfinished products because I got bored with writing Masquerade (the finished book). I started getting ideas and of course had to jot them down, which turned into a full-blown writing fest, then I got bored with those too, then started something else.

And I really should clear that up -- I'm not BORED with the stuff I'm doing, I just know how they end and I hate writing the ending because then I'd have to say good-bye to my characters. How crazy is that you may be thinking. Pretty damn crazy I'd say.

But I love my characters. They're more like friends and I always try and keep up with my friends, but once the book is finished, so is their life. In the Regency series, some of them pop in and out (like Lady Caymore, William & Penny, and of course, Quiggins) but I don't really know what's going on in their little worlds. Did Penny and Will finally have a baby boy? Does Quiggins get it on with Lady Caymore --(I don't know yet for sure, but it would be fun to write) Does Robert find the lady that he's been searching for all his life?

So yes, fiction fatigue is a great red beast that pops his head in and out of my subconscious for all my work. I don't particulary like him, I can't seem to finish anything, but then again, he gives me great ideas for other stories that I HAVE to write. OR at least, start.

Hopefully, someday, I will finish them all.


Julie said...

i like to introduce a new character or conflict when i get to the fatigue stage.

Or sometimes i go back and rewrite scenes from another characters perspective.

Piedmont Writer said...

Another one of my problems when I begin is that I see the book completely finished -- who, what, why, when, how -- have been answered. I don't know what I'd do if another character came forward in the middle and said, "I want to be in this story."

Well, yes, I do know -- I'd start another book about them. lol.

Lady Glamis said...

Awww, Anne, you sound like my other friend Annie who has a hard time finishing things. :(

I'm the type that I don't get many ideas so I just work on what I've got and call it good until I'm done. I have to finish or I'll go absolutely crazy! I'm so glad that Monarch is at least completed.

sarahjayne smythe said...

It's great that you have all these things to choose between. They give you choice and options for things to work on.

It's good to have choice. And I'm sure given time, you will finish it all.

Piedmont Writer said...

God knows I hope so. I have this thing about leaving a legacy for the Small One. I grew up in New England and for what it's worth, the old timers always left land for their children. But as I don't have any to call my own (at this time) I need to leave her something besides my love for the Boston Red Sox. Hopefully when I become published, I'll have not only royalties but the books I've written so that she'll see I was actually the 'smartest Mommy on the planet'. hahahhahahhahahaha

sarahjayne smythe said...

Wow, that's a really great sentiment. And the beautiful part of it is not only can there be the physical, i.e., the royalties and the bragging rights, but there's the spiritual thing, too. You'll have left her a piece of yourself, something you created that she can look back on.