I haven’t spoken too much about the progress for my third novel. It’s been almost a year since work began on it and the writing process began over four months ago. But things haven’t been moving as swiftly along as they could be, and as of this month, I think I understand the reason why.
I don’t want to give away what is going on or who the characters are, for it is far too early to get into that yet. What I will say is that the protagonist had gone through a painful experience in his past that is going to affect him mentally in the journey he’s about to take. The ultimate goal in that regard is how he is to make peace with that part of his past, all the while overcoming it.
The experience that the protagonist had gone through in his past is reminiscent of something I went through earlier this year. By including it in his story, it was a struggle that I felt I could portray authentically. It was also, to some extent, a way of making sense of it all for me.
That’s where the issue has arisen. This particular experience has been very difficult for me to portray emotionally; so much as to where I would often feel mentally drained after writing a chapter. This has never happened before when writing my previous two novels, and both of them did involve delving into heavy subject matter at some point or another. I see now that this experience I’m incorporating into my protagonist’s past is coming too soon after having gone through it myself. The pain of it all is still too fresh in my memories.
I tried telling myself otherwise. I’ve written before about writing difficult subject matter and how some authors have been able to embrace the mindset to get through it, even if it was reminiscent of something they’ve gone through themselves. I thought maybe if I toughened up, I could get through it. But when you’ve gotten to the point where you don’t even want to go near your own material, you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth going through all this mental anguish, just to portray an authentically painful experience.
Already we are living in trying times, and I want my third novel to be an escape not only for the readers, but also for myself as a writer. Yes, no story can exist without some struggle incorporated into it, but there are other ways of portraying it without resulting to mentally draining myself.
So I’m going back and restructuring the struggle; to make it better for myself to write, all the while maintaining an obstacle for my protagonist to overcome. This is what is best for me as the writer of this novel, and in the long run, I believe it will be worth it for all and any future readers as well.
An Absolute Mind is now available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CreateSpace, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, etc. If you read it, please leave a review, for they’re greatly appreciated and help me grow as a writer. Also, be sure to check out its Goodreads page, and feel free to leave any questions you have about the book.