Saturday, February 11, 2012

Why is it so hard to write?

I've been writing for years. Seriously. I wrote my first story back when I was like 8. It was a horrible story, and I can't fathom why I wrote it, but I did. I even sold a copy of it to our next door neighbor's kid.

But my first real experience with writing for myself was my entry into the world of fanfiction, shortly after Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix came out. See, I had to move that summer, so I was stuck in my mom's apartment while she was at work, with no idea whether or not anyone in the apartment complex was my age. And it was hot, so I liked to stay inside. Which meant I played on the computer. A lot.

I started reading fanfiction as a way to pass the time. And most of the stories that I read were horrible. Thrown together without a second thought, no development, nothing. So, I decided I could do better.

I ended up writing 5 full-length fics, and several one-shots over the next 4 or so years. Then, in my last year in college, my dear friends, A.K. Morgen and Naomi, introduced me to NaNoWriMo. I didn't write a novel that year, merely helped edit one. That never got done. We won't talk about that. The following spring, I had a lot of personal things go on, and the summer after I graduated from college, I ended up writing a memoir, as a therapeutic technique. I started writing short stories to challenge prompts, even submitted a few, hastily thrown together pieces.

That was 4 years ago. Now, I have a few ideas for new novels, but I can't seem to find the motivation to pen them. I have two rough drafts of novels that need to be heavily edited (because they're not consistent). And I have a folder of short stories that I started writing and never finished. I picked one up about 2 weeks ago, after I finished my exams for school. And I rewrote most of what I had down.

And then I got stuck. I realized that the draft I had written didn't have any purpose to it. It was about a girl under a curse, but I couldn't figure out why she was under the curse. I knew how to break it, but what was the motivation for the curse in the first place? How would breaking the curse affect her and those around her?

See, without knowing the reason behind the curse, I can't finish the story. And I honestly have no idea how to figure out the reason. When I got to this point in my novels, it was fairly easy to just start jotting down ideas, or writing out a character sketch of one of the characters. That allows me some insight into what my characters are trying to tell me. But this one... she's a mystery still to me. I mean, I know all about her, but why she got saddled with this curse? No idea. I know at some point, there's a boy involved, but I'm not sure how he plays a role either.

Maybe it will come to me in a dream. In the meantime, I'm stuck with writer's block. Maybe I'll start looking up prompts again. We do have a literary magazine that I'd like to submit something to this year.