My wife asked me the other day, “Are you reading more about writing or actually writing?” Ouch. In her own subtle way, she had pinched a nerve that needed pinching. I had, indeed, spent way too much time reading about writing.
Part of this stems from the age old writer’s malignancy of self-doubt: “I don’t know enough about writing to actually write.” The truth is, if every writer waited to ‘know enough’ before they wrote, we would have empty libraries. And yet, I felt inadequate because I didn’t go to school for writing and my depth as a reader is not what it is for other writers that I know.
So there was my challenge – write more. Simple as that sounds, when I did sit down to tackle the next scene in my SciFi novel, Origins, I was blocked. And I had to admit, I had been blocked for sometime. The story has a decent premise — humans 10,000 years in the future finding the lost Earth, the origins of humanity. The problem for me was that the stakes were simply not high enough. The point of the main character finding Origins was not enough to make the story compelling. I was bored. And if I was bored – well, need I continue?
I spent some time thinking about the whole reason that drove me to write and it boiled down to a character. The main character of Origins was originally a character in another novel I had started to write some years back but trashed. I mean, deleted…gone…kaput.
I had listened to one person’s critique: “it’s been done before.” I caved and trashed the whole project. But I have come to realize that, first of all, listening to ONE person’s critique was simply wrong. Second, everything has been done before. It’s not a question of what I write about, it’s a question of how I write about it. I wanted that story back. So I’m doing that.
Origins has been placed in hibernation and the original novel, as yet untitled, is back on. No longer a SciFi piece, it is instead set in modern times and deals with international crime and domestic terrorism. Stay tuned!


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