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When I finished National Novel Writing Month in November 2013, my plan was to let the story sit in December then pick it back up in January. I was going to finish it, revise it, edit it, etc then self publish it as a novella either in the summer or fall. It was a reasonable, doable goal, and I was happy with it….
Until a previous manuscript reared its ugly - and I mean, ugly - head and let loose its antagonist. The disdain in that woman's voice for the characters in my NaNo story was so cold and chilling it made me want to crawl in the drawer where those NaNo notes live.
But here's the thing: I don't trust her. I don't trust the manuscript, which I've worked with on and off for years now, or the plot, which is so full of holes I keep disappearing into them. I don't trust that I can tell this story the way it should be told. I'm not sure I have the guts, the nerve, the creativity, the discipline, or whatever else it is that's keeping this novel from being written.
I want to follow my original plan. I want to work on something shorter, more manageable. I want to work toward a clear goal.
But I also want to work on the story that's got me gripped in its talons. I want to spend time with characters who are flawed but make me root for them anyway. I want to feel those heebie-jeebies as the antagonist whispers in my ear, her words like a nasty fingernail trailing up my spine.
So, do I stay on the path and write my NaNo novella? Which, by the way, I do really like. Or do I hurl myself off that same novel cliff I've flung myself off many times already, only to emerge battered and broken and still manuscript-less?
But what if, this time, I actually manage to fly?