I’m working on a new book and this one challenges me — as a person. This book is a time slipgenerational women’s fiction tale. Firstly, I am going back to my writing roots and working in my “natal” genre of women’s fiction. However, this time around, the focus is not on the female characters’ ability to control, nor her ability to get from under a tyrannical man/situation. Rather, in this WIP, the female POV is on a journey of self-development; of soul evolution, if you will.
Her name is Amagdalene. We meet her moments before her death during the slavery era here in America. We see her strength, her pain, and her humanity. Then, she’s gone. We next meet her in the world beyond where she’s still suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Slavery Disorder).
There’s no time for it since she’s got an assignment — she must go and guide two of her female descendants. Pitching what is tantamount to a two-year old’s fit, Amagdalene balks. (It takes balls to resist Him, doesn’t it?) The end result is she goes to be of assistance after she is on the receiving end of a friendly intervention by a fellow angelic being.
All okay so far, right? Uh-huh. What time period does Amagdalene have to visit? The Jim Crow era shortly after the Emancipation. Amagdalene is in the early 1920’s. Sheesh! Tough writing especially since our own “modern” time has been fraught with racial tensions.
As a writer, I have historically written a very detailed outline, complete with all major points along with personality sketches of all of my main characters (as well as the supporting characters). This was done for this new WIP too.
So, why is it that since January 1, 2015 I only have just over 6,000 words written for this book?? My normal methodical 5 – 7,000 words per month is so not on the grid for this time slip story.
I’ve been pondering this for some time now. The only thing I’ve deduced is that my writing process alters depending upon what I’m writing.
For example, when I attempted to start the time slip WIP, I faltered after 800 words. Then, a friend suggested I was being too rigid with my writing/production schedule. It was suggested that I should allow myself to free write. It took about a week but I did just that. I began typing and when I looked up four hours later I had well over 3,500 words written. I had no idea what I had written but in time I realized it was the first portion of my most recent book “Making Dollars & Sense Work”. This is my first nonfiction book on personal finance; a topic I’ve researched heavily but never imagined I would contribute anything to this body of work.
Seeing how the nonfiction work grew effortlessly while the time slip WIP meandered I began to wonder if I was not supposed to write this new story. This conundrum baffled me so much I meditated on it to gain further clarity. After many months (like 5!), it appears that this story needs a lot of muse preparation prior to me writing it out in physical form.
Currently, it feels like I have a ‘not quite ready’ feeling going on about the next scene. I know where I am in the story. I know exactly where scenes are next. In fact, I have reached an ‘easy’ part of the book where life for Amagdalene is fairly pleasant and almost affluent for her and her sister. But, I still feel as if I need to ‘hold on’ and not write anything just yet.
Part of the issue is I want to delve deeply into heavy research about the time and the town and its layout and pictures of the town, its stores and inhabitants. But, I know this is overkill. I know that this is a form of procrastination to want to do all of that prep work. So, I will take a middle ground and do some research but I will not go crazy and ready 10 – 15 peer-reviewed journals, read 3 – 5 historical books with factual accounts from survivors. It is only a small section of the book that deals with this time period. I have to move onto another time period after this scene is over. Then what? The same dilemma?
I think my friend is right. I am very rigid when it comes to the process I’ve developed for my writing projects. However, I have three children, a full-time job, a husband, friends as well as my writing to tend to. I must give myself some slack and not be over zealous in every minute aspect of my writing. I can do enough to get a sense of the town’s layout and an idea of the inhabitants. I don’t need to know each intersection, the color of the awnings, or signs. Nor do I need to know the actual air quality of that time. Yes, I’m being facetious now but you get the point. Overkill.
It’s time for me to let the Muse rule and allow this story to develop at its own pace with its own unique rhythm.
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Writing has been a ‘thing’ I’ve done for well over 20 years. I started off in journalism and was bitten by the fiction bug in college. Through a series of fortunate events, I found an awesome Sci-Fi writing mentor – Jacqueline Lichtenberg. I studied with her for two years and began formulating plots that she approved of…mostly. Then, one day, I saw a plume of steam rising up from a manhole and the idea of a Fury coming out/through and Fury From Hell was born.
Rochelle Campbell – Author Links
Facebook Page Fury From Hell
Ta-ta for now,