I’ve been having some trouble writing Conviction, the third Razia book.

Now, nobody panic. It’s not like I’m giving up or anything like that. But I wanted to be blog a little about the frustration with this damned book, more so I maybe can find a nugget of wisdom to keep me going.

First, some background:

The events that occur in Conviction were originally part of Double Life but removed because I thought it was too much plot after the third or fourth draft. THE PROBLEM WITH THAT is that, just like with Double Life, this particular sequence of events has been floating around my head for fifteen years. BUT UNLIKE DOUBLE LIFE, this hasn’t actually been written (well).

And so what happens, inevitably, is that when I start writing, I then switch to daydreaming and forget to write.

Because I know what happens, so why write it down? = Suni!Logic

That’s one piece of the problem. The other is that I’m really worried that it (and also Book 4) veer off into the less action-y and more into the relationship-y territory. Which is strange, because both Double Life and Alliances were about relationships, too, so I don’t know why this one, in particular, is coming off so weird to me. But people love Lizbeth, and they love Sage, and seeing them continue to care for Lyssa is warm and fuzzy.

Another piece of the problem is that I keep writing scenes, then pulling them out, then putting them back, then pulling them out, then rewriting them. I have about 10,000 words in my “Cut scenes” folder, in addition to the nearly 50k in the book itself. I can’t seem to get the sequence of events right, or get them to flow. I can’t pinpoint motivations of my characters (specifically Lyssa and Jukin) and so I can’t seem to get their dialogue right, either.

The final piece of the problem – and here’s the big fear (#SlayYourFears) – is I’m afraid I won’t have enough plot to fill the novel. This is a fear I also have for Book 4, and I think part of it is bleeding into Conviction. I’m sitting close to 50k, as I said, with a lot of [add] and [more here], but I guess I’m still worried that I won’t make it over 68 (which is my intended minimum word count). So the fear that I won’t have enough to write is preventing me from writing.

Also, you know, I’ve been going to a lot of conventions and trying to sell my house, so my writing time is limited to whatever I can get in during the week. And because it’s so sporadic, I’m sporadic, and I can’t dive into a scene. I get distracted.

Because, again, the scenes are written in my head, and I can’t figure out how to expand them. And when I do expand them, I pull them out because they no longer work. But when I rewrite another scene, I put them back in. And then I wonder if the entire chapter doesn’t have enough action.

Here’s what I know:

My April schedule is much less crazy, and that means that I can really take some time to focus on this book. The book really (truly) does not have to be complete until at least October 1st, so I have a LOT of time to get it through the process.

My fears of people hating the book because of X, Y, and Z are really silly. REALLY silly. Razia is Razia is Razia, and it’s going to be the story that it’s always been. Some people will love where I take it, others won’t. I know it’s still truthful to the story that I set out to write – Lyssa’s journey to stop being such an awful human being.

I am a wildly creative individual and can absolutely come up with more plot meat for this book. But first I need to write the pieces I know and perhaps spur the pieces that I do not know.

I will finish this book, also.

EDIT: I also realized the reason why I feel so trapped lately is because I haven’t been able to just sit and brain dump scenes in a while. So I cracked open Book 5 and brain dumped onto that and it felt GOOD.