I’m this >< close to giving up on the time travel story I mentioned a few weeks ago. It’s massive, complicated, and so far beyond outside the range of my knowledge and abilities that it’s not even in the same galaxy. Half the time, I don’t even realize I’m going down the wrong track, until someone else glances at it and immediately points out where and how I’ve screwed up. And it’s not a matter of fudging the details; these are major errors that are instantly obvious to any reader who has real experience with the subject, and require me to scrap entire chapters and start over if I want to retain any sort of credibility.
But every time I try to put it on the back burner, I start screaming at myself. Silently and only in my head, but screaming nonetheless. I’ve given up on everything else; I need to keep pushing through on at least one thing. Why it has to be this, I’m not sure.
I actually like writing this, when I’m writing it. All other times, I resent it for taking up brain cycles I need for other things. And because this mess isn’t complicated enough, I can’t seem to work on anything else. I’ve always been able to work on multiple projects at once. Not this time. So I’m stuck. I can’t get the time travel story to cooperate, and I can’t write other stories- one of which is a magazine submission with a deadline, so if I’m going to write it, I need to do it soon.
Allowing a story to fall by the wayside- temporarily or permanently- seems to be a common writerly experience. Purposely setting a story aside- saying, ‘continuing this is a waste of time’- seems to be less common. I’ve done it once before, on a regency romance that was essentially, a retelling of the previous book in the series, from a different POV. It was interesting, but not enough to hold a reader’s attention, so I finally said goodbye to it, and moved on to something else (it’s still on my hard drive, because I save everything).
I want to set aside the time travel story. It’s one of those things that would probably make decent money and entertain a lot of readers. If I could make it publishable, the odds of which are vanishingly small.
But it refuses to go away and won’t let me work on anything else. So I guess I’m going to push on it until something breaks. Might be the story; might be me. If you see a gigantic blue cloud hanging over the continental United States over the next few weeks, don’t worry. It’s just me, swearing, cursing, and blaspheming at this thing in a vain effort to get it to either shut up or get on the page.
(Cover image is, of course, not mine. Foxes in Love is one of my favorite webcomics, and you can find the print version here.)