I’m going to share a writerly secret with you…
I believe there comes a point in every book when the author thinks they won’t be able to pull it off. It doesn’t matter if they have written one book or ten books or fifty books, at some point an author stares at the screen and knows, just knows, they will fail. Too many words (or subplots, characters, threads, adverbs, etc.) and too little conflict (or character development, scene setting, motivation, etc).
It’s impossible. A monumental task. And the author is simply not good enough.
I had this moment. My brain told me yes, I can write this book. All the puzzle pieces are there, and I know these characters.
But my gut said I had 200 puzzle pieces already together, and I was trying to fit another 100 pieces in—only the pieces were upside down and I couldn’t see the picture.
What does an author do when she runs into the upside down puzzle pieces? She calls in the cavalry.
Authors who have been there, done that. Who know what it’s like to miss the forest for the trees. Who know that actually, you can write this book.
There I was, in a hotel lobby on a business trip, talking with one such dear, dear writer friend and explaining all about the puzzle pieces being upside down. Suddenly, I knew exactly what the problem was. Two particular scenes were wrong, emotionally and suspense-ly (is that a word?). I’d jumped ahead emotionally and was behind suspense-ly.
The puzzle pieces have a picture.
So I blather on about a bit of plot, and my author friend is all, “What? What?!?” I go haring off to my laptop and start messing about with my h/h’s emotions and my villain’s nasty streak. All is well, minus a load of editing and the actual puzzle construction.
A few days later I receive a little package in the mail from said author. Tucked among lots of love and support is a coffee mug. Now, because of that author friend, whenever I think I can’t…