Sunday, February 24, 2013

Switching gears

It's the longest, coldest night of 1982, and Rose has just been born without a scream or a whimper. She's the protagonist of my latest writing project, a fictional novel intended for grown-ups. By that, I simply mean children will, for the most part, find it difficult to connect with. Though it could never be as beautiful, clever, or poignant, the project is inspired by some of my favorite stories, like Kenneth Grahame's The Golden Age and Dream Days and Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

This recent change of audience is due to my getting into a writing rut, something surely every writer does once in a while. So far, the project is progressing smoothly. The outline is complete with notes and chapter titles. Character sketches are piling up. The first scenes are written. The ever important first line is on the page. All this in a couple days, and I guess I'm not surprised. After all, I write blogs for you all year long, and you're adults. Writing for grown-ups comes naturally; it's where I began before trying kid lit. I went with children's literature in the end because of this, and I'll continue to try for the very same reasons. But truth be told, writing for children is much harder work for me. It's time I took a break. The hope is that this new path, even if temporary, will rebuild some artistic confidence I've lost in trying so long to do something that's difficult for me and will end in a piece that will be seen by more than me, my hubby, my cats, and my beagle.

The new novel is to be complete in time for a short course on fiction I'll be taking in the fall. I've chosen this particular course partly to revitalize my storytelling and partly to satisfy my wanderlust. So's not to go in empty-handed, I'm writing this new tale to take along and hopefully hone. That gives me right at six months to complete at least a second draft, which is plenty of time. So wish me luck and lots of strong days of writing and endless brilliant insights, or at least blow some creative pixie dust my way as I step back into the known and away, for a moment, from the hoped for.