This past week I have been itching to write...something. I got my 7th revision of my romantic comedy script approved, my novel is in the hands of a great editor and ready for a fresh set of eyes to give it the once over and after helping several of my writer friends with their projects, (always a pleasure and an honor), I wanted to work on something new. So I returned to some pages that I had started for my new novel. I have about 10 that I really like. I like the voice, I like the tone, I like the innerlife of the character whom it is about but I don't like that I have a sinking feeling right now at the beginning that it is not enough. I know that it is too early to judge, but at the same time, having written 2 novels and deciding to lead with one, and leave the other in a drawer for now, and having done the same thing with my screenplays, I am painfully aware that good writing, even great writing is not enough.
What is the plot? What is the hook? What is obsessing me enough to sustain me through the next 2-3 years of writing, through all the revisions and debates over story and structure and what it is that I am trying to say and why it needs to be said and sent out into the world to be read? It is a huge task writing a novel and it is also a monumental responsibility to write one that deserves a big life outside of my office. Alas, I find myself on familiar, yet shaky ground, and know that I need to press pause and allow my well to be refilled. I have to read and watch and listen and allow my mind to wander to places that are murky and muddled and trust that somewhere in there, a line, or character or image will surprise me and light the tiniest of flames that will lead me out of the writing darkness.
Sigh. This is the hard part. But it is infinitely easier than getting 100 pages or 300 hours in and realizing that I need to go back to the drawing board. Deep breaths.