Perhaps you remember some of my early posts in which I shared maps of Lacey’s world, maps that showed the world’s evolution (and in ways the plot’s evolution as well). I’ve been living in that world since I first set eyes on it back in 2010. It’s time I take a break. I don’t anticipate that it will be a long break (as the stories still demand to be told), but I need something to get me excited about writing again.
And how, you ask, will I regain my enthusiasm? By creating something new. I know Lacey’s world inside and out – I need to discover a new place so that I can reinvigorate my creativity.
The following is a map that I sketched today. I like to start with maps, because the layout and shape of land give me ideas for the stories that happen there.
I can’t leave things unlabeled, so for now I’m calling it “New World” (about the most unoriginal thing I could think of!) And I’m going from there.
Do you use maps to begin stories, or let the story shape the map? What is your opinion on maps in books?
I haven’t been editing Quest for Salvation
Phew, now that that confession is out there, let me tell you why. I love the story, I love the characters, and I love the world – but sometimes it can be overwhelming. Having finished another round of edits, I’ve found the amount of work I still have to do exhausting. My MC still needs more work to make her a worthwhile character, my plot needs to be tightened up a bit more, especially at the beginning (I’ve planned another rewrite of the first couple of chapters) and of course there is all of the editing for rhythm and pacing and phrasing. In short: I stopped before I got burnt out from writing all together.
I have been working on this world (almost exclusively) for four years. More than once I’ve had to set it aside (swearing that I would never come back to it because it’s a worthless idea) and I am NOT going to go through that again. I’ve learned when to let it rest. I sent the draft I have to some readers, and hopefully their input will get me ready to work on it again.
But what am I doing in the meantime? Well, I’m still writing. My new project is a YA novel* that has roots in a story I wrote with a friend in high school (though what those roots are is hard to say – there are no recognizable elements of that story in this one now).
This has been my strategy for a long time: When writing one story becomes forced, I jump to another. That way the creative juices are still flowing, but I get to completely change my point of view, tone, characters, and setting. It gets me out of the writing slumps.
How do you prevent getting burnt out? Do you have strategies to keep from getting frustrated with your work?
Take care, fellow travelers.
* I’ll be writing more about this project in posts to come, though I hope to pick back up on my series on Ibvailyn Culture soon.