So . . . I guess it’s been a while since I blogged about anything other than yarn. Here, have a Kippy picture to make up for it.
What is Sparkle Story? I can’t yet tell you what it’s called or what it’s about, but I will tell you this:
I wrote it because I was afraid of it.
Ever since I realized I would be a writer, I’ve been afraid to write a certain kind of story. Let’s call that type of story Sparkles. Though I’ve always loved Sparkles, I’ve always believed I wasn’t smart enough to pull it off. I thought it was fortunate I had never had an idea that would require me to write a story that involved Sparkles.
Then last year, I was spinning yarn and daydreaming when the story appeared, little fragments at a time. I fell in love with this bit over here, and this bit, and a piece I thought would go one way but ended up going a completely different way . . . and finally I began to see the bigger picture: Sparkles. If I wanted to tell this story, Sparkles had to be there. And I had to write it because it was so daunting.
The kind of story I’d always loved but thought I would never write? I’ve written it. My crit partners like it. My agent likes it. I dearly hope Sparkle Story sells one day and I get to share it with everyone who wants to read it, but even if it doesn’t, the most important thing has already happened: I wrote the story I was afraid of.
The story behind INCARNATE is similar. It took three years and a very, very low place for me to get the courage to write the story that intimidated me so much. In fact, when I first had the idea for INCARNATE (June 2006), I hid it in a file on my computer for three years and tried not to think about it, because it was so complicated I didn’t think I’d ever be up to the challenge. But when I wrote it, I wrote it for myself, not worrying about what would happen after.
Since then, I’ve tried to be more willing to accept writing challenges. I’ve tried to be braver about the stories that scare me. And I’ve tried to remember that (one of) the most important part(s) of writing a book is writing something I am in love with. If it doesn’t make my heart go pitter-patter, if it doesn’t scare me a little (or a lot), if it doesn’t make me cry or gasp or laugh . . . it’s not going to do that for anyone else.
So, what challenges have you accepted lately?