Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sinkholes Along The Road

It's one of those days here where the outside is a mute gray, and a light mist is collecting on the windows. There was no sunrise this morning, the sky wasn't raked with shades of gold and orange like normal. Instead, it just sort of got lighter behind the clouds, like someone was slowly turning the knob until it was sufficiently light enough to be called "day." This matches my inside
perfectly.

I finally got an answer back from a scientist, and he set me straight on a few ideas I had about my artificial chromosome. Straight enough that it's not going to work now. I mean, I could still make it work, but I specifically said "implausible is acceptable, impossible is not." My immediate reaction was "see, you're deluding yourself. You're not cut out for this. Stop living in this fantasy and go become an accountant or something."

Aren't we mean to ourselves?

Of course, I could stop being a woman easier than I could stop being a writer....so, it's back to the drawing board. No, it's not even back to the drawing board...it's smash the drawing board and build a new one. I have to rethink my entire plot.

So, today I will let myself mourn the novel that will never be. The year of research down the drain.

Tomorrow I will begin the journey again. I'm already thinking- maybe this is good. I was feeling a bit like a sell-out anyway when I really wanted to write more literary fiction and was trying to force the thriller to fit the market. This feels right. Tearing down, starting over.

The hard part will be waiting for the new story to take shape. It's a long process. Don't you wish you could kick inspiration in the behind sometimes and scream, "get a move on, I'm not getting any younger!" Instead, I'll wait while my subconscious rolls it around and lets bits float up for me to catch before I fully wake up in the morning, or find myself scrambling for a pen while daydreaming/driving...

Meanwhile I'll be spending the day emotionally eating and chanting, "writing is a journey not a destination."

4 comments:

Christian said...

Ouch! That kinda hurt, I imagine, getting that answer from the scientist. But yeah, sometimes you have to tear down in order to rebuild. I wish you strength on your new journey!

Shannon said...

Thanks, Christian. Yeah, I think the hardest part is I really love the story and the main character is the daughter of the m.c. from the last book, so I want to keep her. Also hard is looking back and remembering the specific moments with the book-- agonizing over a scene and then finally getting it and loving the results. But, I guess it's like any relationship...you can reminisce about the good times, but if it's not working, it's just not working!
It's all a learning experience.

Christian said...

Know what is also frustrating? When you come up with a killer concept for a book, and six months later a film comes out that could have been culled from your own brain on the same subject. Doh! That has happened to me recently. Makes me want to say bad things.

Shannon said...

Yeah, I seriously think once someone thinks of an idea, it's "put out there" and up for grabs!
Just means we have to write faster...LOL.