So, I finished the novella I was working on, the one that is a companion to Summer Chaparral. (Which also happens to be my very first finished novel!)
I intended this novella to be a romance about two nice people, whose very niceness gets in the way of them getting together. But as I was writing it, I slowly began to get bored with it. And as I got bored with it, I realized that I was bored writing it because, well–it was a boring story. I slogged my way to the finish, since I just wanted to get the story down and because I felt that the kernel of the story and the characters I had envisioned weren’t fundamentally flawed. I knew it just needed some revision. Heavy revisions, of course, but you can’t revise what you haven’t written. So I kept on getting those words down.
And then the fix came to me. It came to me as I was trying to fall asleep, like most of my story and scene ideas do. With a new baby in the house, sleep has become as valuable and as rare as–well, I can’t actually come up with a good metaphor right now since I’m so tired. However, no matter how much I want to sleep, the creative part of my brain insists on working overtime when I’m trying to fall asleep.
The particular insight I had for fixing this novella was: More Conflict!
I know, Writing 101 stuff, huh?
The thing is, I couldn’t see that while I was writing it. All I could see was the story I had envisioned at the beginning, no matter how boring it was. Thankfully, my subconscious could see what was wrong and got the message to me. It also sent some great suggestions for amping up the conflict, which I appreciated.
For now, I’m setting aside the novella, and letting all those ideas steep in my brain, while I work on book two in my series, with the working title Autumn Sage. The main characters in this book are very different from my first book and they’re already setting a really distinct tone for this second book. I’m enjoying writing it so far.
And don’t worry, there’s more than enough conflict (internal and external) to go around in this one.