Have you ever ended up with completion anxiety with a project you're working on, but not been able to figure out why becuase you're absolutely loving writing the sotry? Well that's what I've been dealing with the past couple of weeks with Shadow Spell, the (not so) short story I've been writing.
Today, I think I've worked out what it is that's going on in my head. I'm not used to writing short stories or flash fiction, it's not something I do very often but I'm contemplating doing it a bit more as I think it would benefit my writing. So Shadow Spell has been increasing in size every day and it's at the point now where I can't really finish it within the word count that I wanted (lets face it, the word count I wanted was 5,000 words ago). And this is making me anxious to finish, because I don't think I'm going to do a good job of it.
Today I sat down and really thought about the story and about what's been going on and I've realised that the way I've been writing is too much like for a novella or novel and that's not really what I wanted to Shadow Spell. It was meant to be a short, quick project to get me back into a writing routine so I can get on and complete Awakened Magic, my sequel to Forgotten Magic. It was also meant to be fast paced and action packed and although there are elements of that, there's also a little bit too much world building and slow plot development.
So I had a think about the bits of the story I really like so far, and the bits that probably aren't really doing anything for the story. And then I had a think about the actual plot in a bit more depth and what I really want from this story and I think I now know what direction I need to go in. It does mean there's going to be a significant re-write before I've even finished the first draft but I think that's important and it's what I need to do in order to be able to complete the story properly.
It's not the first time I've re-written a story before I've even finished a first draft, in fact that's what I did with Forgotten Magic, though there was about 10 years between starting that story and finishing it and pretty much the entire book was re-written. Having had this revelation about Shadow Spell, I now feel a lot happier and think I'll be able to sit down and get the first draft sorted fairly quickly and with a much more appropriate word count.
It;s always important to step back from your writing once in a while and work out whether the direction it's going in is actually the one you wanted or not. And if it's not, don't be afraid to change it, after all it could be the difference between loving one of your stories and being disappointed with it.