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I have always been able to jump into a new story and fire off three decent chapters right away.  For some reason, BOAA, the second in my urban fantasy series has been giving me fits.  I’ve written the beginning several times now and still, something was off with the story.

I set aside the laptop and pulled up blank paper.  Sometimes writing longhand can pull me deeper into a story.  Even that didn’t work.  That blank paper stared back at me, patient… and confused.  

I kept telling myself that a lot has happened recently and it’s only normal to struggle a bit.  But, I can usually disappear into my stories–set all the life crud aside. 

Then on Saturday night, I’ll admit I was kind of feeling sorry for myself.  The OKRWA meeting had been that day and I’m at the stage of surgical recovery where I feel well but try things and hit a set back.  So, I didn’t go and I should have.  I had a ride and I wouldn’t have had to do a thing–romance writers are a protective bunch.  And being around them would have fueled me up.  

So, I emailed my night owl twin, Terri.  <g> 

We were chatting back and forth about writing and she said something wonderful about the first book in my series.  She brought up the very different big concept that threaded the story.  Said it was transcendental.  How cool is that?  

Later that night, I couldn’t sleep and her words played over and over in my mind.  Suddenly, the reason BOAA wasn’t working became crystal clear.

Yes, it has a fun plot and promises a lot of dark, creepy stuff, action, and even humor.  But it was missing the thread of “different” my first book has.  And in this realization, the big concept I was missing appeared. 

It had been there the whole time.  I was already writing around it. 

Now that it has clicked, I can feel the onset of my usual obsession.  When the story takes such a solid shape and the idea I want to work with is exciting, I want to do NOTHING else but write.   (This is a good thing–obsession creates a fast, furious and glorious ride!)

Terri’s words showed me that all the books in this series need to follow the first.  They all need that “different” concept threaded throughout.  After spending most of my life studying cultures and religions, I have a lot of these nuggets.  Vague?  Yeah.  But I have reason.  😉

So, the point of this post?

Sometimes, the writing doesn’t work because the story still needs something.  Something important.  Something that is yours and yours alone.  😉