I’ve Lost My Mojo

I’ve seemed to have lost my writing mojo lately. I was doing well with the marriage kit book, then I got pulled to do a presentation on purity to the single ladies during the marriage and family workshop (and I’ve been waiting to find the time to go through a huge backlog of presentations I recorded from that, as well as interviews, etc.). As far as other writing (besides blogging and twitter), that’s been non-existent as well. But I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. Now the issue is what to focus on.

I have two fairly well developed stories from my NaNoWriMo efforts that I could begin to work on again, or any number of short stories, particularly the linked short stories. I had some great ideas and passages for the next one after Candy Apples. Where is this butterfly going to land?

I left both NaNoWriMo stories at crucial points–in one, the protagonist were finally about to meet face to face, and in the other, the main character was about to start some life changing activities. My next installment of Candy Apples deals with some heavy subject matter that will be tricky to write. No choice is going to be an easy one, but I like a good challenge, especially if it yields a good story.

For today, I’ll read over what I have, then see what pulls me in, which story I just have to know what happens next in, which character I just have to push through their present situation. Then I’ll know where to begin again.

To anyone left following thisĀ  blog, thanks for the support.

XOXO

2blu2btru

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The Bad Beginnings Blues

Pictograms of Olympic sports - Tug of war. Thi...

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I’ve been engaged in a tug of war with my brain. There’s an idea lurking in there that I have one end of, while the other end is tucked into one of those little squiggly lines on my brains surface. I try to pull it out, but my brain is not letting it go. It won’t allow me to fully realize this idea I have in my head, an idea I know will be epic, if I can just get it out

Let’s back up to the beginning of this tale. I accepted a challenge from Cordelia to write more often and actually finish some projects this year. I was excited at the prospect of having someone to bounce ideas off of, to proofread my work, to tell me whether or not a piece needed to be reworked for the eightieth time, to tell me when something is crap and should be flushed down the toilet. I even had a solid story to start with.

I didn’t think the story needed much tweaking, only, the story I was telling didn’t seem finished. The thing’s I wanted to tell didn’t fit the story I had, though, because of the focus. After mulling this over a bit, I came up with an amazing idea. One that would fix my little dilemma, but create a slew of others.

The story I’m referring to is Candy Apples. Candy Apples is one woman’s struggle with a specific kind of addiction. She is in a support group with other individuals, two of which she interacts with regularly. The problem was, as I reader, I wanted to know more about these other women. The glimpses of them I saw in this story were so compelling, I had to know their stories. But this wasn’t their stories. Through several days of thinking and plotting, I came to the conclusion each woman needed her own story. They were strong enough to stand on their own. If the stories unfolded in such a way, I could even share certain events in Candy Apples from their perspective.

Then my mind ventured on and came up with a frame work for the other stories, which led to the realization other stories, and a little research, were needed. All of this was falling together and working out seemlessly. I ended up starting to examine one of these women’s stories, where I wanted to start, where it fit in my framework, what symbols and motifs would be important, etc. Finally, I was ready to start writing.

Only nothing came out.

This never happens to me.

I usually have spectacular first lines of my stories that start right in the thick of things and really set the tone for the story. This is especially true of Candy Apples. In the creative writing class I was in when I wrote it, one thing everyone agreed on was how awesome that opening line was. But somewhere along the way, I’ve seemed to have lost my first line mojo. I blame it on planning.

I’ve talked about what part of a story I get first here. It’s usually one of two things–a character or an opening line. Rarely is it a plot or a scenario. I’ve also talked about planning ahead versus going with the flow. I usually go with the flow and plan where necessary. This time, I had a strong character, already established in another story. This time, I’ve plotted out many of the important plot points and I know where I want to end the story. This time, I can’t think of an opening line to save my life.

The opening line has to grab the reader’s attention. It has to be interesting and intriguing, yet subtle and alluring. It has to invite you to read more without giving the game away. It has to seduce. In short, it has to work. This is especially true in a short story, as you only have so much time to establish a scenario and characters before you have to get things rolling.

I’m at a crisis point, a major stumbling block, very early in this story. Could it be I’ve lost my first line mojo for good? Does anyone have any tried and true techniques for crafting opening lines? Do you know of any good articles I can read on the subject? How can I wrest this opening line from the slimy recesses of my brain-squiggles?