One of the best things that I’ve ever done for my writing is write the Hartland series. Those books challenged the way I wrote. Typically, I like to write with standard chapters. In this series, the chapters transferred from a number of characters. There were no actual chapters in the books. Instead, the story was told in parts through characters and the reader had to piece things together as they went along. These books were definitely something I had never written before. For those who have read it and enjoyed the story and the unique way it was told, I appreciate all the lovely comments. If nothing else, the Hartland series helped me grow as a writer.
And now, I’ve taken on another challenge with the Ordinaries series I’m currently working on. I don’t write in the first person. Normally, I don’t like to read it either but recently I stumbled across the fact that this story works better in first person. I wrote more than half the book in third only to realize this. So, as I’m going back through and changing things, I actually feel more connected to the main character now. I was having a hard time with Catherine Winters. I guess it was her trying to tell me that I was doing the story wrong. As an obstinate, know-it-all writer, I simply wasn’t listening. And, as I’ve been reworking it, I figured out how I’m going to end the story and what the next several parts are going to be. I was definitely stuck on the plot after I’d gotten almost 40k into it. The story wasn’t feeling the way it should have, which was what made me stop writing on it temporarily. Incidentally, it’s also what got me to finish the edit for the last book in the Hartland series. That was something I wasn’t looking forward to. It turned out it wasn’t as bad as I had thought it would be.
I write this to reiterate what most writers already know. Writing a challenging piece is actually a good thing and helps us grow as writers. So to all those pieces of work that we dread writing because it’s difficult or because it’s something new we haven’t tried before, do it. Trust me, the personal growth you obtain from it is worth it.