Two weeks ago, I decided I would do weekly updates on my writing. I figured that’s what a good writer does on her blog. I also decided that I would do weekly posts on my Hunger Games obsession, because for me, writing is a release of energy, and that was where a lot of my energy was focused. I figured between those posts I would be better able to direct other energy into Spirited.
And then. . .the energy shifted.
This is what happens with me and obsessions: they create a need to write. Emotions create a need to write as well. It’s too much to keep inside, and for whatever reason I best express everything through fiction. And so I started to think maybe I could write, for myself, a more satisfying end to The Mockingjay and that would help me get back on track with what I really wanted to do. The end of that series really left me sad, depressed, and yearning for just one more conversation between Katniss and Peeta, Gale, and Haymitch. I wanted the closure that I felt was missing from those books. Those are not my characters, however, and I don’t really know what they’d say. No matter how many times I read the books or watch the films, I can’t write the ending I want, because it just won’t ring true. Fan Fiction just doesn’t work for me.
So I started, instead, to fiddle with the idea of, hey, maybe I could write something similar–again, for myself–that would give me that satisfaction. I even sat down and started a little file with a little list of the things I needed closure on.
I got 4 things on that list before I realized I needed a dystopian world for my “closure” and I needed a triangle, and while I was at it, my characters needed to be older. I liked the main characters in The Hunger Games, because they felt older most of the time; they had to grow up fast. But I am not a teenager, and I wanted to write it in 1st person (present tense) like the series. I needed my protagonist to be older. And so I sat with my husband, who is a sci fi fan, one weekend morning and we spent a happy couple of hours or so talking about a dystopian world and characters. It was fun. Until the following week, when the thing took off in my imagination. I started writing a little–Closure!–and then more and then more, and suddenly this female character took over. And two male characters. And then the world.
It’s not what I wanted. I wanted closure so I could get back to Spirited and The Seventh Son. Instead I wrote 27k words in 3 days, and felt–still feel–like I was going nuts. I have a story where there was none before, and it’s in a totally unfamiliar genre. Well maybe not totally unfamiliar. I grew up on sci-fi, and I’ve lived with a sci-fi fan for most of my life. My son is as well and I’ve watched more Dr. Who than I ever wanted to (which isn’t so bad, because there’s humor in it). I’ve read some as well, but it’s not a go-to thing for me. So how on earth am I writing this?
I don’t know. I have no clue as to what I’m doing and this protagonist is definitely not Katniss, so there will be no closure. All I can really say is that the plot, the characters, the dialogue and the words just keep coming. I can’t tell you if it’s good. I can’t tell you if I’m following any kind of sci-fi formula. All I know is that it’s there and if I don’t get it out, my brain will get stuck and I won’t be able to write anything at all.
So. . .that’s where I am. I’m not working on Spirited. It’s what I want to work on, but it’s not really a choice right now. All I can say to anybody who is hoping for that next Victorian romance, is that I’m sorry. I want to write it, but my muse has been kidnapped by a 26 year old woman living in the 23 or 24th century (not quite sure yet on that). Why she chose me–and that’s how insane this feels right now!–I don’t know; there are plenty of wonderful sci-fi dystopian fiction geniuses out there who could do a better job. All I can promise you is that at some point, this will be finished and I will once again be a Victorian romance writer. Until then, I’m living in the Twilight Zone.