Juin Charnell

Stop before you go too far off track

I am half-way finished with the novel I’m working on. But I have been struggling with where it’s going. It wasn’t feeling right to me. If you are a writer you might understand what I was going through.  It’s that feeling when you are following your outline, your note cards make sense and the plot is still moving in the direction that you want but the characters don’t have the conflict or depth of emotion that you are trying to convey. Something rings false. So for the past few months, I have avoided this particular work-in-progress and did what I do best. Not finish and start something new. Of course I realize this doesn’t help me to grow as a storyteller. So I went back to see what it was that I was avoiding and why I was standing in my own way.

It was one of my characters that was bothering me. As much as I wanted to add an element of time travel it didn’t fit this particular story. And what also wasn’t working was the gender of one of the characters. So I changed one of the female characters to a male and suddenly the conflict made sense.

It’s challenging for me to write in an authentic voice. And sometimes I think I also want to add same sex character relationships because there is such a dearth of positive relationships in books for a wide spectrum of ages to see themselves. But I also realized that I have to write true to me. And that means that sometimes I will write relationships that are heterosexual in nature and not always lesbian.

I think my main concern was a fear of letting people down. I was working under an assumption that people may only want me to be a writer of gay fiction. But that is far from the truth. My truth. I want to tell good stories. I want to tell entertaining stories. And I have to remind myself not to pigeonhole myself into a box, because no one has place a barrier on me other than the self imposed one I created as another form of procrastination.

So I am going to write the book that I will be proud to be my name on. And when I release the stories that I want to tell I hope you enjoy them.

Continue to view the world through words.

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