Panic Stations

I’m almost afraid to say this, but I’ve had to ditch another story idea and start again. This is the fourth start and I can’t see myself going through the stress of having to do this any more for this project.

Story three – The Garnet Orbs – was 40% complete. However, two days ago I received further instructions from the publisher and discovered I was doing everything that was on the “don’t” list. *groan* (I will, however, go back and finish this story at a later date.)

Within hours, I had a fourth idea tumbling around in the dark void I call my brain. Several hours later, I discovered a huge flaw in the plot. I went to bed that night in quite a stressful state and didn’t sleep because of it. Plot ideas continued to tumble about, but nothing worthy of this project. Yesterday morning, I rose from my bed feeling like a truck had hit me repeatedly and then, to top it off, I felt like I had been dropped from a great height and landed on my poor battered head. Oh, the pain!

Panic isn’t a strong enough word. Stress also doesn’t fit the way I really felt. It was like every ounce of my being had caved in and stopped working. This project is such a good opportunity for me. The odds will never be this good again, I’m sure of it. Yet I’m fumbling about like an idiot in the dark.

Yesterday morning I sat in my office at work, jobs piled high around me, agonising over what I’m going to do for a story. I was not focused on the workplace one bit. In the end, I emailed a writing friend – Sasha – and poured out my problem to her. She quickly managed to settle me down. She ordered me to take deep breaths and let my entire body go limp. I obeyed. It did help me.

Then she started asking questions and giving me some focus and direction. By the end of the day, I had characters, a setting, reasons, a point by point plot, and I felt enthusiastic. Today, I will look at religion (it’s important to my people) and, hopefully, will come up with a better conclusion for the story (the one I have now feels shaky to me).

During this time, I’ve constantly reminded myself how lucky I am to have the ideas rolling in. What would I have done if no ideas came to me? *shudders at the thought*

At this stage, I must give my thanks to Sasha. She has been a gem and has helped me gather my wits and turn my attention back to the job at hand. I appreciate your help and support, Sasha. Thank you.