While my newsletter subscribers have known for a while, I wanted to write a little post about THE BLESSED and it’s abandonment.
I am not one to quit a project or not finish once I’ve started, a skill that has been very handy when it comes to writing. And out of many projects I have started, THE BLESSED is the first one in a long time that I have gotten so far into without finishing.
But, what makes this different from other uncompleted projects is that it was on purpose, a very intentional abandoning fueled by reason, and I would like to take the time to explain to you all my reasons. All of them together, boil down to one main truth: it wasn’t working.
There were a lot of new things I was trying with THE BLESSED, and looking at this project as solely a learning and growing experience, I find it was very successful. I got to write from a lot of different character POVs, explore different personalities than I am typically drawn to write, focus more on romance (which is the bane of my existence), and to weave together a more complex plot with subplots. However, a successful learning experience is not the same as a successful project.
The leading reason that led me to putting THE BLESSED aside was the ‘main’ character, Aria. I feel it is quite revealing when I have to put ‘main’ in quotes, because that was how I grew to feel about her. While I had planned on the story focusing on Aria, and her character development, almost every other character quickly pulled my interest far deeper, and Aria remained a stunted, boring character. Her development did not have the depth or impact I had hoped for. She was one of the challenges I had put before myself when planning THE BLESSED: writing a shy, push-over, sheep MC. Often times, I found that situations where I expected her to be pushed forward, to become more independent and confident, did the opposite, and by Act 3, I was ready to kill of Aria and focus more on Desmond and Marjolee, who felt much more interesting.
However, I have learned how challenging writing that kind of character is, especially in an adventure novel. Aria is not the kind of character I would instinctively want to write, and that was part of the fun, but I have a much higher respect now for authors who take that kind of character and make them intriguing to the reader.
Any other problem in THE BLESSED can be traced back to the flaw of Aria as a failed MC. Since she was central, the other characters were connected to her in some way or another, especially Atticus (one of my favorite characters from the novel, who fell flat because of Aria). I imagine a reader would get very frustrated with THE BLESSED in it’s current state, and it is far from my desire to frustrate a reader.
So, THE BLESSED has been shelved and I’ve moved on to writing The Book Book. I hope to one day return to THE BLESSED, but I know it will take a MAJOR MAJOR rewrite to fix it up. Aria will either be drastically re-imagined or removed completely. And since there will be such a big change due to her, who knows how other characters and the plot might evolve as well.
None-the-less, THE VARKEN, is clear on its way to being published this year and in your hands! And don’t worry, just like THE KEEPER, it doesn’t end with a cliff hanger, so I won’t keep you waiting for THE BLESSED.
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It is interesting when a character just doesn’t “take off” the way we want her to. Valuable time spent, nonetheless. Best to you for the new book.
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