So, there's this new boy in my life. He kind of makes me smile a lot, and he's really sweet and thoughtful and ohmygoshCUTE. He's been bouncing around my head for a few weeks now, but only yesterday introduced himself. He's just THAT considerate; didn't want to overwhelm me in the midst of my panicking about the Stream Pirate sequel.
Who is this new boy, you ask? Oh, I think you'll like him. His name's Max. Maxence Pate, to be precise. I haven't gotten to know too much about Maxie yet (he hates when I call him Maxie, but he's just too nice to tell me to stop), as his almost-annoying amount of consideration has prevented him from telling me how his story begins until I am no longer swamped with homework. He knows that if he told me what the first line is, I'd politely tell my archaeology homework to piss off and spend every waking moment getting to know him. Oh, Maxie, you're going to be fun. I can tell.
Anyway, Max's appearance made me make the very painful decision to shelve Rechanneled. Not forever, mind you; I fully intend to come back to it one day. But the hope that Max's story offered in other book to get giddy-excited about was too tempting to pass up. It also made me realize something I had been fighting to ignore for weeks: Rechanneled was REALLY boring.
Okay, literally, it wasn't boring. There were a lot of swordfights and night-attacks and brother-sister tension and character development and more things stream piratey, but as I was writing it, I was bored. I kept writing, thinking, Okay, the next part will be interesting. Exciting. The next scene will take off. But I'd get to the next scene, write it, be so bored my chest felt like it would implode, and end it with an exhausted sigh. This cycle left me feeling like the world's worst writer. Like I had failed somehow, that I couldn't even keep my own story interesting. Would nothing I ever wrote again be exciting for me? Had I lost my writing spark?
I LOVE the world of Stream Pirate. It will probably always be my favorite of all my worlds. But writing Rechanneled was making me dislike it. Once I realized that, and once Max came a-strolling in, I knew I had to stop. I wasn't writing Rechanneled because, like Max's story, I felt I NEEDED to write it. I was writing Rechanneled because I felt I HAD to write it. Somewhere in the deep dark caverns of my writer's mind I felt I had to finish the planned Stream Pirate trilogy NOW, before I started anything else, while Lu's voice was still fresh in my head. I felt if I didn't finish it now, I would lose the *spark* of the story and regret diverting to other projects. I felt like I would be letting Lu and Yazoo and all the other characters down, leaving their story dangling unfinished.
But then I realized -- that's completely silly. Again, Max helped me realize this (can you tell how much I love this dude?). His voice is already vibrant in my head and jabbering of its own accord. He WANTS his story to be told. Lu and Yazoo don't want the rest of their story told yet. I haven't heard a peep out of Lu since I got the general idea for a Stream Pirate trilogy. That's part of what made writing Rechanneled such a chore; Lu wasn't helping me. She wasn't yet ready to tell Rechanneled, and I was trying to force her, worried I would lose her. But in some twisted only-happens-to-a-writer way, I never even had her in Rechanneled. So I won't lose anything in shelving it for now. And I have to trust Lu that when she's ready to tell me the rest of her story, she'll come running back to the forefront of my brain, talking a million miles a minute in true Lu-like fashion and complaining about the lack of sanitation on steamboats.
But for now, it's all Max, all the time.