This week’s challenge isn’t a story development tool. Not this time.
I’m starting a new novel in a few days, so these last couple of rotations before beginning feel a little like standing at the edge of a cliff. I can see the bottom through the clouds, but I don’t know everything that’s down there. I don’t even know if it’s a clear shot all the way down. Only way to find out is to jump. And pray the landing is soft.
And it’s not going to be easy. There’s going to be good days, sure, and great days. But there’s also going to be crappy days, and days where I fall short. And those are always the ones that stick in the mind. If you’ve ever written a long project, then you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, consider yourself warned.
So, for the Monday Challenge, riddle me this: why are you doing this?
There’s got to be a reason to write this story. Why this one? Why now? Is there something you want to know? Some part you’re particularly looking forward to spinning out? Some character that you love?
Whatever the reason is, before starting, it’s worth writing down. If there’s more than one reason, so much the better. So that when the bad days pile up so high you want to quit, you can look at that list and think: “No. Not yet.”
So why am I writing mine? What will make me look at the universe and say fuck you every time I want to stop? As it happens, there are a few reasons:
1) The protagonist is dropped in the middle of a really shitty situation, but she doesn’t have to do anything about it. I need to know why she does, why it is unthinkable for her not to. What is it about her that makes her unable to see this problem and walk away from it? Also, I need to figure out how the hell she’s going to fix it, and writing it is the easiest way to do that.
2) I’m really excited to write a collection of scenes right in the middle of the story. It’s a turning point, and I think it’ll be a strong section. If I can set it up properly.
3) I like writing the antagonist. He’s a hell of a lot of fun, in a horrible way. And I bet the stuff he’s going to come up with once I really get rolling will be great.
4) One of the characters badly needs to be redeemed, and I don’t write the story, she never will be, and that will make me sad.
That’s what I’ve got so far. Once I get into the actual writing, things will shift and I’ll most likely end up with more reasons. Subplots will pop up, minor characters will flesh out, and the rolling boulder of the story will gain so much momentum that I won’t be able to imagine stopping. But that’s for later. Right now, these reasons are enough.
So: what are your reasons?