After a week (or so) of trying to figure it out, I then determined that the problem with everything I was jotting down was that my MCs voice was wrong. I spent all day on Monday obsessing over how I was going to fix this, how I was going to find her again, and where the heck she went.
When I got home, my editor (who luckily or unluckily gets to double as BFF) says to me:
"The voice is fine. It's her at the end of the book, which is what you want. The problem is that you are scared that you'll mess this up and have to rewrite it eight times."
Glory, glory hallelujah.
As you know, I wrote Follow Me Through Darkness eight times before I got it right. And while it's awesome that I kept at it, it sure did a number on me. I don't think I realized that until this week. Now, I have this crippling of fear of writing ALL my books eight times. And well, when you're working on the sequel to the book that caused all the fear, it can be pretty daunting.
No. Not daunting, terrifying. I'm terrified.
Not of the book (though there are missing pieces and I'm working with a MC who is NOT forthcoming at all) but because I don't want to fail. Guys, I don't want to re-write this book eight times. That worry is almost debilitating, and with FMTD2, it made me not know how to start and to question everything from my characters to my plot to myself.
With my last book, Hotboyalicious (not real title), I had this same fear--but it manifested in hatred. I was scared of that one because it was a different genre, character, voice, style. I guess, deep down, I was scared of writing it eight times. That was made pretty evident when I had to start over after 50k. But once I did, it was awesome. (I'll have to tell you more about this later.)
Once Patricia told me what was going on, once she pointed out the root problem was me and not my book, everything clicked. In two days (after a period of wallowing and ignoring life with tv shows and a little crying), I've written over 5k. It's small, but I'm feeling confident. I believe in my MC again, in this story, in this series, and I'm thrilled.
Does that mean I'm still not scared? No. I am. But I have a book to write--and I don't have a lot of time to do it. I wanted to tell this story, and I get to. And honestly, I'm bigger than my fears. Plus, if I want this to be a career then I have to get over myself.
Some authors rewrite, and maybe that's just the kind of author I am. Maybe I finish this draft or make it halfway and need to start over. That would suck, a lot, but when I look at FMTD and how proud of that book I am, how hard I worked to make it fantastic, is re-writing the worst thing that can happen?
No, it's not.
I tell you all this because I am scared. I hope you don't hate my book(s). I'm scared I won't do the story justice. I'm scared everyone will hate my MC (even though she's stubborn and endearing.) I'm scared it won't strike a chord with anyone. I'm scared I won't succeed. But I am still writing.
Nothing I'm afraid of will stop me, so don't let it stop you.