Blessed, Cursed…

I am not going to write about writers’ block. Many others have written about it far better than I care to even TRY to write about it. But let’s be honest, sometimes doing other things or taking time away from writing can be beneficial. I love taking the creative process slowly. I wouldn’t call it block, I would call it taking my time. I am not paid to be a writer (yet, perhaps?) so I am not on a deadline. I can take as long as I want to write my novel and edit it and then, someday, try to get it published.

Taking a break means that I am letting the ideas marinate in my subconsciousness. I may not even realize that my brain is still working on the novel until I have a “Eureka!” moment where suddenly something I had been struggling with — or all-out avoiding — becomes crystal clear. It’s a great feeling, and I have to write it down, or email myself, or make a voice note on my cell phone so that I’ll remember it later. Even after making a note, I think about it over and over and smile to myself at how brilliant I am and wonder in amazement that my brain was able to elucidate This Thing.

This morning a friend mentioned wanting to know how my book is coming, and I realized that since mentioning it to her a week ago I have not done any work on it. I decided that I will make progress today, even if it’s just a little bit. I reread the first few lines and remembered that there is a character mentioned there that needs to be added into the story, so I opened a new document and began writing a scene that introduces him. I can figure out where to place it in the novel later, perhaps letting the scene lead me to knowing where it belongs in the timeline.

Then I got sidetracked thinking about the different movements or “acts” in the main arc of the novel. Though I call my novel Cursed as a working title, that’s not descriptive of the entire thing. The first part should be called Blessed, because Cass is blessed years and years before the curse part comes in. But after the curse… what? Not that naming the acts is critical at this stage, but I still wanted to come up with a good name to call the third act, even if it’s temporary.

I started thinking about the plot and what happens at the end of the story. Redeemed? Saved? No, too preachy. Resolved? Executed? No, because Blessed and Cursed refer to Cass, and I definitely don’t want anyone to think SHE is getting executed! I went to one of my favorite websites – I played around with some words and meanings until I landed on one that is perfect: Sanctified. The word itself goes well with Blessed and Cursed as far as the theme of the words themselves, and it’s also a great way to hint at the fact that Cass is going to somehow come out not just on top, but WAY on top of the world in a place of honor. And it gives me some ideas about things I can add or change in the ending I have sketched out so far.

So there it is. The novel’s final title may or may not be Cursed (it probably needs to change at some point, but I’m still using it as my working title). But the parts of the story have been named, and now I can start storyboarding and brainstorming again to see if I can/want to stretch the story into a trilogy, or keep it as just one book. There’s still a lot to be done, but I’m excited for every little bit of progress I can make.