Change of Plans

I’d started a new novel this week. It was about a girl who has no magic in a world where magic was completely common and used for everyday tasks, such as lighting a room or having running water.

However, I kept having problems every time I sat down to write. At first, I thought it was because I had so much backstory and world building that it was getting in the way of telling the story.

I sat down yesterday and told myself that I just needed to write the damned story.

And writer brain came back with, “No.”

Okay then…

Took me a while to figure out what was going on. Because I really do like this novel and I really do want to write it.

One of the best things anyone has ever said in a review of my work was that it was, “surprisingly deep.” A lot of my work is like that. While I might be writing fantasy, it’s frequently allegory for other things.

For example, the magicless girl is considered handicapped by everyone else. She considers herself differently abled. But how does someone who is differently abled exist in a world that is absolutely not built for them? There are notes in my head about her dealing with people who think she must be mentally incompetent because she has no magic. I was planning on exploring a lot of those sorts of themes in this book.

Plus, this book was all about her social and political awakening. Bad Things were scheduled to happen by the end of chapter one.

In other words, this was NOT a light, fluffy, happy book. This one was going to be getting pretty deep and dark in places.

As I had just finished the last of the Wind-Stone-Sea books, which was really dark, writer brain had no interest in going there again. Or at least, not yet.

I finally figured out that I needed to write something light and fluffy. As I was thinking about it, I also realized that I needed to write something with a main character who had a TON of voice and opinions.

While I tend to write characters with opinions, there are other characters who are over the top in terms of voice. And I needed to write one of those.

I looked at all the novels I had on my list and realized that most of those were pretty dark, or at least weren’t as light and fluffy as what I was looking for.

One of the things that I know about myself is that my voicest characters tend to happen in mysteries. In addition, I read mystery for voice. Don’t really care if it’s cozy or noir. If it has incredible voice, I’ll follow it.

While I was at the mystery workshop, I wrote a proposal for a cozy mystery series. I’ve had to do some tweaking to it, but I now have a character who’s that voicy in a story that’s light and fluffy. Cozies are not dark. They’re escapist literature. There are no homeless people in cozies. There are only two bad people – the person who gets killed, and the killer.

So I have a great cast of characters, in interesting setting, and a really nice problem. I sat down and wrote a little yesterday and 500 words came streaming out. It was already so much easier to write than the other book.

For now – I’ve switched projects. I’m hoping that I’m going to be able to get back to Magicless after I finish the cozy. Then I can alternate – one really light fluffy novel, followed by a much heavier one, going back to light and fluffy, etc. We’ll see. It is infrequent that I can plan out what I’m going to write before I write it. My brain just doesn’t work that way.

When was your most recent course change? About face?

%d bloggers like this: