Okay, I have a problem and I recognize that I have a problem, so therefore I can work on resolving the problem. Denial is my key defense mechanism, but sometimes I'm ready to face my fears and recognize my issues.
I make plans and set schedules and generally try to function like a writer who knows what she's doing. If you've been following along, you're aware that there are 5 books in the L&L series. Or there will be. #1 came out in February. #2 came out last month. #3 is scheduled to hit virtual shelves in March (um, it's looking more like April), #4 in the fall of 2013 and #5 in spring 2014. I've been working hard on writing #4. I've had problems with #4 from the beginning. Some of it (most of it) was because the hero was not to hero-y. It's a long story about who the hero was originally supposed to be and the hero from book #3 kind of stole his thunder. I smashed my finger yesterday and I don't really want to get into it. But the hero hasn't been up to par.
I got the hero up to par, I was feeling pretty good about where he was going now. I figured out his back story. The heroine never gave me a lick of trouble and was all set to take over the world. I got to 72,000 words and froze. No big deal, sometimes that happens. I ignored that voice that whispers you know this is crap, right?
I'd give it some time, come up with a brilliant ending.
This is part of my problem. There are 5 books in all. I never (you've heard this before) intended to write a series. If I finish book #4, then there's only one book left. One I'm struggling with starting, struggling with thinking about. Don't worry about, you say. It'll come when it's ready. Of course it will. As thrilling as starting a series is and knowing it's going to be a series, it's scary as hell realizing it's going to end. Not to say that I'm not excited about starting a new one. I am.
In a way, after reading over book 3, I'm looking at it, going, there's no reason for there to be books after this one. With a little readjustment, this is the end. Sure, I spent two months writing another book to follow. A book I'm not crazy about, a book whose hero I'm not overly fond of, a book that is so far fetched (and if you've read the first two you're going, what? Really? More far-fetched than those? How can that be?) even I don't believe it and I believe all kinds of crazy things.
You see my problem now, don't you? It's fear of failure so massive that I'm thinking about throwing away a 72,000 word MS. Don't do it, you say. Set it aside, because I just told you it isn't even scheduled to release for another year. I'll be sorry if I abandon it for good. There are a few scenes worth saving in it.
The thing is, I don't like to put things away. I like to work on something, keep busy, which is why I didn't take very much time after finishing book 3 to start writing this one. I was in the mood and I took it.
Let's go back to Friday when I made the vow to finish the novel. While I was sitting at my desk at work, I thought, what if the hero knew who and what the heroine was all along. What if, instead of being in the dark, he was really friends with the hero from book 3, and he was sent to protect the heroine, even if she doesn't know or want his protection.
This weekend, instead of finishing that WIP, I wrote 6000 words with the same characters in a different situation and a hero with a different back story. Am I out of my ever-loving mind, or what?