Hey world! Award-winning writer over here … look at me! Ha ha. I jest. But, seriously, I am quite proud of my little second-place certificate from the Dunedin Writers’ Workshop for my piece ‘Oasis‘. The fact that I was up against some very talented writers does make me wonder how I achieved it (I had even read one of the stories that didn’t place … and I’d liked that one), but I’m gonna take it and run. My ego needs it.
Especially as I agonize over my WIP. For some reason, I have this aversion to calling it a romance, despite the fact that I started it as a little piece just to entertain myself and it did, indeed, begin as a vehicle to bring two characters together. But, then I discovered WRITING. And, I realized that my characters had so much more potential than to just end up in each other’s arms. Still, I find myself thinking of my main plot as romantic and, when I do, I get down on the whole thing. Yes, I do want the romance element in there – it’s something we all feel, all strive for in life, in can all identify with it. But, I don’t want it to be the all.
So, at the risk of proving to myself that my main plot was romance, I did a little plotting exercise, and was actually surprised to remind myself that the romance is one potential resolution to the main problem – that of my female protag’s safety. I guess it’s easy for me to forget that, because it’s not a story goal I can present within the first few chapters – the danger she is in presents itself later, but when it does, wumpf! OK, so maybe I should start with that danger but, if I did that, my girl wouldn’t have the support around her that she needs to stay safe … the bad guys would find her, capture her, end of story. Dumb. So, she needs to meet friends. And, the readers need to like said friends. So, yes, my story has “set up”. There are mini-goals in there to keep things moving, but there needs to be that opening to give my girl and the readers a chance to learn what she is and why she needs to not end up in the hands of the antagonists.
And, suddenly I feel a whole lot better about keeping on keeping on.
I have an outline, I really do. And, I’ve done all this before. But, sometimes you get bogged down in the writing … and then you read an awesome book with a cool plot, awesome magic system, sexy character– uh, characters … sorry … where was I? Oh, yeah, you read someone else’s work and realize you’ve still got a long way to go … Um …