I know, it seems a little early for “final thoughts” mode, which is why I’ll be making this announcement first: I am going to rush the ending. I know, I’m a sack of shit, and I’m sorry.
The fact of the matter is that this story has become an increasing drain on my emotional resources with each new chapter. Writing Beth’s perspective has been hell, and I swear I’ll never do another character who is depressed again in my life. But, well, I’ll go into why further down the announcement. For now, I’ll focus on the what.
The next two or three chapters were intended to be a way to get to know the regulars at The Playhouse, just as the last two chapters have been, as well as a couple of the early chapters were. I was going to do this whilst creating parallels and/or contradictions between the characters of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and my own characters.
… If you’ve been with me this long, you’ve already seen me do this. I have a certain love of touching on other works of fiction when writing my own. I’ve done everything from Glass Menagerie to Tristan and Isolde to Starcraft at this point. I even referenced Midara (the first setting I ever created, actually) a couple times.
I also have a love of what is essentially running parallel stories- where the characters straddle the line between one life and another, and I wanted to show more of Beth’s.
But, as I’ve said a hundred times by now… writing Beth is exhausting, and at this point I don’t have the energy to do the five more chapters required. I will be skipping the next two chapters, which would have shown more of Ben, Tina, Clyde, and Eric. I think we’ve seen enough of April and Mrs. Battle to know who they are, but they’d obviously be involved as well.
Then there’s one or two chapters I will show. Then two or three more that I’ll skip as well (no, I’m not sharing details- because spoilers- but I’ll do my best to make sure the event scenes remain- it’s the ‘building’ scenes that are going to be removed), and then it’s on to the climactic scenes of the story and aftermath of said scenes.
And then, I’ll probably be taking a break from Price, entirely. Well… after adding Chapter 3 to the Triad and doing a short (re: 4,000 ish words) story to flesh out a certain other part of the setting I want people to see. Specifically: Echo Chamber, the most powerful Precog of the setting.
If, after all of that, I feel my motivation coming back, maybe I’ll shelve Midara a little longer, but I sincerely doubt it.
Now that ‘What’ is covered, on to the “Why”.
As I said, this book has been exhausting. I like dark, but Anima’s mentality just drains the ‘color’ out of every scenario. My other main perspective characters, whatever else may be wrong with them, had ambition, drive, and the will to do things. Anima… just… exists, and getting into her head makes me tired, makes me not want to write.
I’ll never write another main character like her again, that’s for damn sure. Which means Unspoken and Paid in Blood will probably never be written.
In addition, not long ago I got a surprising surge of fan posts from a few people- mostly via Reddit- I’d give a shoutout, but I don’t know if they’d be comfortable with me listing their names. Talking about my story, one guy asked me for a PDF so he could read on a plane. I don’t have PDFs, but he was willing to accept the first draft text documents I use for my stories.
It felt good, restored quite a bit of that flagging motivation.
It also made me question why I write.
I always thought I was a writer because I love writing. I always believed I’d write stories even if there was nobody to read them.
Now? I’m not so sure. Every one of my novels has been losing readers, and more than that there’s been less speculation than ever before. I’ve still got a small handful of regular posters, but the longest conversation threads are only three or four deep and… well, I guess the best way to describe this feeling is “lonely”.
I’d be lying to myself to say it doesn’t bother me. I’d probably ignore it normally, but writing Beth makes it very hard to keep a positive attitude. I’d also be lying if I said it doesn’t bother me that it does bother me. Feels like, well, like I said, I always thought I was one of the ones who did it for fun alone, and I don’t like learning I was wrong this part of myself.
… Well, enough of me acting like a whiny douche, I’m starting to piss me off. And if anyone says I’m being too hard on myself? Well, too bad, this is how I get motivated when the nicer methods don’t work. Anger, properly harnessed, is a powerful tool.
Besides, the most difficult times are the ones that teach us the most, and if I’ve gotta deal with the shit either way, may as well get that vaunted character growth, right?
I can safely say that this book has taught me more than any others I’ve written, and for that I’m grateful, but if I don’t get it done soon, it might never actually get done. Some day in the future I’ll come back and add the five or so missing chapters, but for now… I just want it to be over…
For those still reading this rambling mess: Thank you. It really is nice to have fans that stick by you.