The Fall Stirring

There’s something magical about the fall. Perhaps it’s the sun’s golden hue, or the sweet allure of pumpkin, or the promise of cooler temperatures (even though it currently still feels like summer). Whatever it is, it always makes my imagination feel more alive. And it always gets me in the mood to write in November, whether I actually have time to participate in NaNoWriMo or not.

This year, time isn’t on my side, and I won’t sign up to write 50,000 at the last minute. My growing belly is a good reminder that rest and satiating nesting instincts needs to come first, not writing 1,667 words a day. There will be plenty of time for that next year.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have intentions of being more intentional about writing. Lately, I’ve slacked. While much of the world slowed down earlier this year and over the summer, my job only became more busy, ensuring that teachers were equipped to roll with the punches. Now, everyone has settled into a more normal routine, and I have more time to write again. I need to take advantage of it before the sleepless nights begin.

Even though I’m not technically participating in NaNoWriMo this year, I have been enjoying their prompts on Instagram. It’s been a welcome companion for my first novel, which is ready for some structural changes. Who knows where the changes will go.

What writing projects are you working on right now? Does the fall stir your creativity too?

Novel Upheaval (and Brewing up Ideas)

SB Roberts 2019

I’ve been working on the same novel for more than two decades. It has never gone through as much upheaval as it has in the past year.

What exactly started all the questions? I don’t remember. But I do know that the questions haven’t stopped.

Instead of making slight variations that never affect the overall story (as has been the case for almost twenty years), the very foundations of the world have been shaken. Literally. Say goodbye to a map that made the bothersome notebook binding into a giant mountain range. I’m still trying to figure out the shifting geography.

Part of me has found this process unsettling. It’s been months since I managed to write a word. Instead, the world and its stories have been brewing in my mind and changing by the day. And like a cup of Darjeeling, I have to wait until it’s ready before I make a move. Only then can I enjoy what’s developed.

I have realized, though, that between daydreaming, work, and parenting, I’ve neglected writing here for far too long. Time to change that. And maybe reimagine things a little. Life is different than when I first started this blog. Maybe my writing should reflect that.

How are your current writing projects going? Have you ever had a story completely change itself while you were working on it?

Reimagining Everything

The past few months have been filled with unexpected turns in working on my first novel.

For over ten years, the basic story has been the same. (And way more like The Lion King than I ever would have guessed. Curious students shocked me with that observation a few years ago.) I thought I had settled into just the right story. It was just a matter of getting everything polished and filled out enough.

Now, as I question why I made the decisions that I did, everything has been turning on its head. Even to the point that the original antagonist isn’t the only major antagonist.

Sometimes I wonder where exactly this is going. It’s like following my curious daughter as she explores the world around her. It feels strange for someone who’s old enough to be somewhat set in my ways.

But I think the disruption is going to be a good thing. The story has more it wants to say, so we’ll see where the characters want to go. It’s their story anyways.

Do your characters disrupt your stories too? Or do your stories not end up going through a million revisions?