Thursday, June 14, 2012

Letting Your Book Be

Ever fought with a book you are writing to the point that you wanted to throw it to the wolves? I have. I've been fighting with one this week. I love this book. But it's at a stage where it contradicts everything I say, leaves messes everywhere, lies to me all the time, and constantly seeks to annoy me just because it can.

If I didn't love it so much, I'd hate it. As it is, I'm just trying to be patient with it while it grows up to what it wants to be.

And that, my dear friends, is what my post is about. Letting your book grow up to what it wants to be. Last night I had a very enlightening conversation with a dear writing friend of mine, Andrew Cannon, who will someday be famous for his brilliant writing.

This is the jist of what happened.

"Joseph, you know what your problem is, don't you?"
"No, what?"
"You're not writing one book. You're writing at least two."
"No. No way."
"Yes way. I knew it when I read it. You're writing a trilogy. No wonder you're having problems. You're trying to fit three books into one."
"But I don't want to write a trilogy! This is a stand-alone novel."

Pause.
Pause.

(Me.) "Oh no. No no no."
Andrew (laughing): "Sorry. But you don't have a broken book. You have a working trilogy."
"Nooooooo!"

It's like having triplets when you planned for one child.

Happy.

But a tad overwhelming.

So I have a choice: I can decide to try to force this book to be what I want it to be, which is, a stand-alone novel. Or I can write what the book wants to be. Which may be a trilogy. 200,000 words instead of 75,000 words. I can let it take however long it wants to take.

I'm picking option number 2. I think it's the right thing.

Dang book.

So. Any good stories about letting your stories be what they want to be? I could use some encouragement here. :)

5 comments:

Jeff Hargett said...

There's magic to be found in trilogies. Go for it, dude!

Scott said...

Funny. I heard that trilogy thing about one of my stories...

Bonnee Crawford said...

If it wants to be a trilogy, and obviously being a trilogy is working better than making it a stand-alone, then so be it! Go for it :) More titles to your name at the end of the day.

Taffy said...

I hate when the WIP takes over! Good luck!

Kim said...

Good luck with the trilogy!