IWSG Question of the Month – How are things in your world?
If the title did it’s job, then you probably have Billy Joel stuck in your head now. I discussed with my husband the other night about how COVID-19 would make it into a revised version of that song, likely rhymed with quarantine. I’d personally add earthquakes into the mix, considering Idaho got one yesterday (6.5 up by Challis), and it’s the first one I’ve felt in my life. It freaked my daughter out, and it took some coaxing to ensure her it was okay to go to bed last night.
Working from Home has been interesting. My office, which my husband built for me some years back, is in the garage, so the kids know not to bother Mama when she’s working. Unfortunately, this has led to an increased amount of screen usage, which undermines my goal of reducing screens over this year to only weekends. Combine that with my only productive writing time was at work… well, my book is certainly taking damage from this coronavirus.
That leads me into today’s post, which is for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! (This happens the first Wednesday of every month.) I ended my exchange with brutal-honesty guy mentioned in last month’s post. I’d felt I’d missed an opportunity to increase the dramatic tension by not endangering the character’s daughter. Acknowledging this led to me pulling back my book from my beta readers and changing things around.
But that’s not all, folks! For a while now, a looooooong while, I’ve had an uneasy feeling about my main character’s subplot in this book. The book is called Isto, which reflects the mythical monsters who have arrived to kill everyone. Three of the four POVs have direct conflict with these monsters and it’s the primary focus of their POVs. My main character? Not so much. He’s dealing with an illness affecting his daughter and then ends up on some islands and then he’s exploding… all the while not circling back to the illness for the rest of the book. I’ve ignored this little niggle because the book works. I’ve indirectly tied the illness to the monsters. Except… it still hasn’t sat well with me.
Imagine how unimpressed my husband was when I told him I was going to rewrite the first half of my book.
I’ve laid out a complete scene-by-scene plan on how to accomplish the rewrite. There are certain things that must happen in this book in order for future books to work. The illness isn’t one of them. My biggest fear is that by taking out the illness, I’ll lose some of the compassion and reader sympathy I built up. One beta reader had specifically told me she liked a side character that’s in the illness subplot… and he’ll be cut in the rewrite. Sure, he can pop back up in a side story that has to do with the illness and my main character dealing with that, but he won’t be in Isto.
What will I lose by doing what I feel is right for the story?
That’s my big insecurity for the month. I know, I know. It’s like my husband says “at this rate, you’ll be working on it forever.” I’m just a hobby writer and I don’t plan on making writing full-time a career, so I can afford the time to get this book just how I want it. And, yes, I am aware that books will never be done and you’ve just gotta stop messing with it, because otherwise you’ll spend your life in pursuit of “perfect”, which doesn’t exist. I assure it, this isn’t that. The illness had been added in the early drafts as a “how do we get this character away from the others” scenario? I’ve decided that shifting the timeline so that he ends up on the islands from the beginning will accomplish what I need.
Though, with my writing time gone, who knows when I’ll accomplish any writing.
How is life for you? Have you experienced an earthquake before? Are you under quarantine?
I might be a bit slow to repay visits due to lack of personal computer time with the kids around.