I have been struggling with this problem for a while now and it was only this week where I thought that I should do something about it. I have been feeling disconnected from my book and my characters. At the time I felt that it was okay because I was writing the first draft and that I will reconnect again once I do the second. Then I realized that I have to do something now in order for there to be less work later and to prevent my passion for my story from disintegrating because it is a story that deserves to be told.
However, I have given myself a deadline, which I don’t think I will be passing, but I am okay with that. Nevertheless, I feel that I am in a rush to get the first draft down, so in effect I am skimming passed all the emotions and I am not truly feeling it. I am aware that I am writing it, whereas if I were feeling it I would imagine myself in the story itself. I am sad because I want to feel the emotions they feel but lately I can’t. I attributed it to the fact that my main character and I are so very different from one another. He is the optimist and a person who readily forgives people, whereas I get along better with my dark twisty character who comes into the plot later. I think that it may be the reason I feel disconnected from him, but also the fact that his scenes are to filled with action that maybe I don’t get to know him. That got me thinking that maybe it’s the same for the reader. I need to slow down and get to know him again, in the story and out. Once upon a time, I was in love with this character and the thought of him sent my heart a flutter. I need to pause and find that again because I am not giving up on him.
Not only this, but I feel like I’ve been writing in third person for so long I feel perpetually at arms length. In third person you have the problem of being the omnipotent narrator. You are the one who sees all and draws attention to what needs to be seen when they decide. This is good for fantasy because you most of the time you are writing intricate stories, ingrained with subplots and a multitude of characters whose perspectives you draw from. Personally, writing in third person comes naturally to me, whereas first person is harder for me. However, the third person narrative is bringing me down at the moment because it is distancing me from my characters. I feel like a ghost floating above their heads instead of in the dirt with them.
When I walked into Officeworks I knew what journal each main character would want. Killian wanted a black leather bound journal, whereas Dardan wanted a desert brown leather jacketed journal to protect against sand storms. Lastly, Ilithiya was tricky as she wanted a beautifully gilded journal but her circumstances precluded her from having this and she had to satisfy herself with a plain brown paper notebook she would never chose herself. At first she was fine with it, but after some stuff happened she hates it. I also bought a new fountain pen (a proper one) and I absolutely love it, but I only use it for Killian. The other two only use pencil; Dardan only knows how to write with pencil and for Ilithiya, it is all that is available.
When I am writing I am writing in the style they would and I am pretending to be them, so that in effect they are writing their journal. I misspell words purposely, I write in cursive for one and block letters for the other. This has helped me understand Killian as I had write about how he felt about the world around him, his past and impending future. Most of all I felt his loss at losing the only person who he ever loved and when I wrote the scene where he finally broke down, I too broke down for the first time. I understood how he felt. I love him again.
Do any of you struggle with staying connected to your work? Especially, when you have been writing it for a long time. What do you do to keep motivated and stay in love with your story?
I hope your writing is going well!