Months in Progress: 4,5
Word Count: 50K-ish
Estimated Final Word Count:
120K 130K (ish)
Named Characters: 5
State-of-Mind: Fine. I give up. Let’s suck the joy out of everything and embrace the angst.
Currently Researching: Dissociation. Vining vegetables. Squash Tunnels. Chicken breeds. Cover Crops. Bohemian Clothing. Silk Robes. Mexican food. Pig Breeds. Tequila Cocktails. Dreadlocks. Duck Breeds. Tiny Catholic Chapels. Sheep Breeds. Ethical Honey. PTSD Memory Loss. Cattle Breed. Farmers Markets.
Number of references photos on my Pinterest:
Currently yelling at myself: What do you mean, repressed memory theory is largely discredited and highly controversial among mental health researchers, scientists, and professionals? Why did you have to research it! Fine. I’ll find another way.
Currently yelling at the story: Where are all the people? Hellooooo. Side characters, where are you?
Things I’m obsessing over: Silk robes. Fleetwood-Mac Lyrics. Jensen wearing bohemian kimonos. Hats with feathers. Sheep with lion manes. Onagodori Roosters. Blue eggs.
Reference photos I’m obsessing over:
I don’t have that much to say at this stage.
I don’t have to fight so hard to get words down right now; they come easier than they did initially. I’ve written roughly 30K in two months; considering how much I’ve worked this summer, I’m happy with that.
I’m starting to get a good grasp of the main characters, their personalities, quirks, likes, dislikes, emotional baggage, and struggles.
I wanted to challenge myself with this story, write J2 out of my comfort zone, so I’m writing this as a strictly Jared POV. It’s hard.
For me, Jensen has always been the easier character to write, while Jared is always more of a struggle. I think my “Newport Jared” is the strongest version of him I’ve written. I want Santa Paula to be Jared-centric so I can keep building on that and challenge myself.
My biggest struggle right now is coming to grips with the tone of this story.
Newport was a fun story to write; it certainly had its dramatic moments and emotionally heavy scenes that were difficult for me; scenes that put me in an unpleasant headspace and made me genuinely sad—sometimes for weeks. But, overall, it was entertaining to live in that world.
Santa Paula is not fun to write; understand me right, I wouldn’t be writing if I didn’t enjoy it, but, tonally, it’s a big change from Newport.
I’m struggling to come to grips with that change; to accept the muted, serious tone, and realize that it’s still a good read even if it isn’t “fun”.
I always worry that my stories are boring; it’s a battle, a mind game that my inner critic likes to play.
But, I’ve learned to recognize her voice, and I know the best way to shut her up is to keep writing, keep digging deeper into my characters, and get the words down—no matter what she says.
To Be Continued…
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