I had to make a tough decision today (by which I mean Monday, as I schedule these posts), and I have a bad feeling that the title of this post is about to happen to me (before you say anything, I realise that this sentence is grammatically questionable; it’s that kind of day).
You see, I have been re-plotting my current work in progress, Lantern’s Fall (Perspectives), as the original plot for it went something like this: ‘Blah de blah blah… or everything could go completely differently’, and I was writing the novel during NaNoWriMo — there is absolutely nothing that could have gone wrong with that, no?
Unfortunately and, I’m sure, surprisingly, a lot of things did go wrong. I ended up enjoying writing the POV of my MC so much more than that of her boyfriend. It’s not completely surprising — I had set her boyfriend up as a simpering goody-two-shoes and then realised that I couldn’t cope with a character so lame — but the biggest reason behind it was that I was shipping my MC with another character.
The horror, no? My MC’s POV became this wimpy, pander-to-the-girl-because-she’s-hurt-and-broken-and-cute kind of scenario that didn’t fit the MC. The plotline dissolved into a mushy mess, and I didn’t realise it until I decided to seriously revise it in the hopes of self-publication.
Oh, and this is after I added it to book one, of course, which was half the size and had an even crappier plotline.
But I am going off-topic, and you don’t need to know how shitty the book currently is (I don’t want to put you off, after all), and neither do you need to hear my moaning which I imagine is equally shitty. Let’s get back to the actual point of this post: the title.
I was re-plotting this morning (as I mentioned before), and I got to the transition between the NaNo novels I’d shoved into one and realised that I couldn’t leave a few months’ worth of time between parts if they were going to become a novel rather than ‘parts’. I had to get rid of those ‘few months’. I had to get rid of what happened in them.
At which point my heart rebelled. During those few months, my MC helps out in the series she is a spin-off from (which hasn’t particularly been written, due to my writing ADHD).
Now, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but my MC might just be my favourite character. I’m not supposed to have favourites, I know, but she’s one of two that most certainly are. Which made it hard to think that I would have to take her out of the series. It was hard to know that we’d hardly see any of her outside of her own little world. Lantern’s Fall is currently a stand-alone, but even if I add the prequel that I might want to add, it won’t be the same. My MC won’t be the MC, and she won’t be… herself.
In shorthand, taking that few months out meant killing one of my darlings, and I have been wondering whether I can deal with that, along with everything else. Re-writing the entire novel before September’s NaNoCritMo that I shall be taking part in was scary enough when I realised that I was doing CampNaNoWriMo next month, let alone knowing that I’m now killing off the chance of ever writing my MC again while I do it, as I don’t feel as if there will be a sequel to her story. I feel as if my brain will explode at the sheer daunting, horrid task before me. Which is why I am losing my mind, and possibly my story along with it, if I don’t buck my ideas up and come to terms with the fact that my MC’s story can’t go on forever. At some point, I’m going to have to take the fact that my characters will live on without me or die. I’m going to have to learn to live with the fact that I won’t be a part of every moment of their lives (especially as many of them are immortal or unchanging). Just like when I’m writing them, I’m going to have to let them wrest control of the reins — except this time, I won’t be on the horse with them.
My characters are like family, or like parts of me, that will never get the chance to fully live and flourish, and that idea saddens me greatly. But good things have to end at some point, and it seems like, for my MC, Lantern — the kick-ass, insecure, ruthless, beautiful creature that sashayed her way into my life in November 2011 — that point is rushing up to meet us. And I don’t know if I can deal with that.
And on that happy little note, I shall leave you. Perhaps the next time you hear from me I will have broken out of my depression cave. I sure hope so.