Steps to a Story: Struggling

I feel now is a good moment to be honest with you: I’ve been struggling on With Honor.  It’s not that I don’t know what’s going to happen.  I know the story almost in its entirety.  And I’m not exactly blocked.  When I sit down to write, I generally accomplish something.  The main problem is finding the motivation to sit and write, and that trouble is coming from two places.

First, this story is not as insistent as others have been.  Matthew is male, and a soldier.  I am neither of these things, which makes it harder for me to connect to my main character.  He’s also somewhat reserved, so he hasn’t been talking loudly in my head like other characters have, and the plot is mostly action and not a lot of dialog.  Dialog is really the driver for me; I tend to hear the conversations in my head.  It’s harder to hear the flow of fighting or scouting.

Not only is the story less insistent, my life has seen a recent influx in potential distractions.  I’ve been re-arranging my schedule at work somewhat frequently to deal with meetings and holidays.  I went on a trip with my sister, which meant planning and organizing as well as going, and I’m getting ready for another trip soon.  I finally got Netflix – a dangerous acquisition, I have discovered – and made the (probably unwise) decision to re-read Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series.  You can see why it has become a struggle to get my mind to focus on this story!

I think the remedy to this is obvious: I need to set aside a time when I have no choice but to write.  I’ll probably have to leave the apartment to do it, since pets and dirty dishes and laundry become distractions, too.  I like this story.  I want to write it.  Thus, I need to make it a priority.  Hopefully it works.