Recovering from a lack of motivation

11 April 2011 08:19

For the past few weeks, I haven’t written a single word in either my work in progress or in revising Revenant Rising. For those of you keeping score: that means I’m probably about 20K words behind on my writing resolutions, and frankly, I think that’s a good thing.

My writing enthusiasm for the sequel to Revenant Rising was bordering on frenzy for the first few weeks, and while I made great progress, I think the story is suffering due to the speed at which I was progressing. At 33K words, I had already passed the midpoint, and revealed 90% of all the secrets. I’m afraid that anything I write from this point on will be perceived as "filler" until I reach the story’s third act. As such, I had to do a lot of rethinking the plot, which I couldn’t have done if I had kept going at the pace I set at the start of the year. I think the story will be better for it, even if it means cutting two chapters.

In addition, I feel I am not doing all my characters justice. Right now there are two primary POV characters (with a third one occasionally popping in), but there is little to no focus on the other characters, even if they are travel companions to the main character. I can do a lot more to explore their personalities and quirks, as well as highlight their backstory in a way that increases their significance without being forced. Exploring these characters has the added advantage of extending the first act, as well as the first part of the second act.

Another thing to consider is that I want to release Revenant Rising in July or August, and I’m nowhere near finishing all the editing I feel the book needs. I’m still waiting on feedback from a number of people. And yes, this means I have finally made the decision: Revenant Rising will be self-published.

But right now I am struggling with a lack of motivation. For the past few weeks I have been spending time I normally reserve for writing on reading. While reading is a necessary (and enjoyable) part of an author’s life, I know that I will have to get back to writing eventually if I want to reach my own goals. But at the same time, it is something I needed to do. Reading has a relaxing effect on me, and I needed some time away from the frenzied writing schedule I was following earlier.

When I do resume writing, it will be with a more relaxed schedule, like I had when I was writing Revenant Rising. The only remaining obstacle is Fool’s Fate by Robin Hobb, which I intend to finish today.