anthimeria: Barbara Gordon, in wheelchair, hand fisted, with the word "Not half beaten yet" (Oracle: Not Beaten)
Lauren K. Moody ([personal profile] anthimeria) wrote2014-11-05 02:40 pm

Creative Frustration

So I have been researching and worldbuilding for a YA steampunk novel for the last several months.  I've got my characters worked out at last, and I think I have the world pretty much nailed down.  (Both of those things took FOREVER and I have disappeaed into so many research spirals in the last few months, y'all.  SO MANY.)

But the plot.

I had a plot in mind, when this was a simple one-off adventure story starring two relatively-recent settler girls in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains above Denver (and don't think 'settler' means 'white').  Then the world sort of exploded on me, and their entire relationship changed and changed the story I wanted to tell with it.

It's now a trilogy, mostly because of their relationship structure, but the action plot I came up with just . . . isn't clicking any more.  Plus the most interesting book, for me, is the second one--they meet and form a relationship in book one, but in book two they're removed from their familiar context and navigating how they want things between them to work and also by the way there's prejudice and new communities and social issues and crazy steampunk explosions.  Book three is them returning to their original spaces, changed and different, and wrapping everything up.

So we can see why I'm most interested in book two, right?

Which begs the question: Should I just write book two?

Actually that in itself begs a lot of other attendant questions, like, "Will anything make sense if I just write book two?" and "Is all the trauma that gets explored and dealt with in book two only worth it if we've already bonded to these characters in a previous book, epic-fanfiction-style?" and "Just how long would book two end up being if I try to make it stand alone?"  and "If I try to make book two stand alone, will it even sell in a YA marketplace that wants trilogies?"

I'm torn in a lot of directions and not sure what to do.  Ideally I'd like to reinvest myself in the plots of books one and three--or at least book one, investment in book three can happen after I've actually written something.

This is the part of writing where I really miss college, or more specifically, the community of writers it provided.  I can no longer go down the hall and bounce ideas off someone else who's also working on a book or short story.  All my writerly friends are scattered all over the country.

Okay.  Two girls searching for a McGuffin in the middle of a snowstorm in the Colorado Rockies in 1872, in a steampunk alternate history.  I can think of cool things for them to encounter, and this will reinvigorate my interest in the book.  Really.

. . . suggestions welcome.

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