Why I’m Not Going to Make 50,000 Words This Month

This is not a “complaining about my life” blog. Sometimes in life you have to go with your gut and my gut informed me somewhere around day ten that Patient 292 was a dead end, at least for now. There was no passion driving the story. Whatever I was using it to express, has expired. It felt much more like an obligation and, honestly, who is making me do this besides myself?

I’m not going to abandon Patient 292 entirely. It might be something that I revisit down the road and publish in a serialized format on this blog. It’s sort of a prequel to A Regrettable Likeness, so, if that series can get more traction, releasing it in small chunks here might be fun. And, yes, I did just say the “s” word (“series”… not the other one).

Which brings me to what I am working on now: A Regrettable Experiment. It’s the next in A Series of Regrets. (Yes, I was a die-hard Lemony Snicket fan, so I see the similarities.)

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a major commitment-phobe. It often takes me several weeks just to buy something I really like in a store. Because of that, I wrote A Regrettable Likeness in such a fashion that it could stand by itself. It does not have to be a series, but I always wanted it to be. Therefore, I don’t end on any cliffhangers and the only loose ends are non-essential to the main plot. A Regrettable Experiment was something I’ve been thinking about, well, for years. One day while I was cleaning the kitchen, 70% of the plot just smacked me in the face and I dropped the broom and wrote it all down before I forgot it. I assumed, though, that I wouldn’t start this book for a long time. I thought I would put down the Regret series for a while and give the characters some space to grow. But a few nights ago during a desperate search for anything to write, I revisited my notes on A Regrettable Experiment‘s plot and there it was. There was the passion. There was the urge to write again. There was my gut saying, “This is the one! And, side note, please stop eating so many hot peppers. I’m dying here.”

Something weighing on my creative process lately has been the desire to monetize it. That has hampered my art since I was, well, a child even. As a ten-year-old, the era of online cartoonists selling commissions was just dawning and I followed their work every single day and tried to copy it, hoping I could do the same. I’ve said it before, I’m a type A personality trapped in the pain-ridden and fatigued body of a type B. But I think I can use my ambition to my advantage on this one. From what I’ve researched, agents and publishers seem to want finished series, or at least proof that the series can and will go somewhere. So maybe I don’t need to wait so long to write the next one. Just as I’ve been a thirteen-year-old girl before, I’ve been an eighteen-year-old one. The characters don’t need to “age,” I can help them along the way.

I just hope that it doesn’t take over 100,000 words to tell this story.

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