• S.E. Burr

I've Started Writing a New Book

I started writing a new book. It feels wonderful to be writing, not editing, or formatting, or trying to promote my work. Writing. Just writing. I think the book will turn out to be a romance inspired by my bizarre and probably age-inappropriate YouTube obsession with British bands. ("You mean British Boy Bands don't you?" No! Mcfly is not a boy band! "It's also not the most baby-faced band you're obsessed with." Shh...Let's not tell the internet about that.) ANYWAY, like I said, I think it'll turn out to be a romance, but I'm only 4,000 words in and it includes some very dark themes. It's clear that I'm writing from a pretty somber place after the accident and everything. I don't know if it'll turn into anything. This year I already abandoned two books I tried writing. If I make it to 10,000 words then

I'll probably write the full book.

There are a few challenges I'm already facing in the story. One is the horrible emotional states that the characters start out in. My romantic leads are people who've wandered or been forced very close to the abyss. It's hard for me to write about that kind of pain, in part because it demands a level of honesty in writing that's a bit uncomfortable. I also find myself worrying that my words could do more harm than good. I would hate for a story I wrote to add even a spoonful of pain to someone who's already drowning in it. Hearing stories like the one about Stephen King's book Rage, which may have had a part in inspiring some school shootings, terrifies me. Maybe that's a little arrogant. My books don't touch nearly as many lives as Stephen King's do. Still, I want to write responsibly.

Another challenge is writing about adults. I've only written one novel before that focused mainly on adult characters. I'm not certain how qualified I am. Chronologically, I'm clearly an adult and have long experience with adult responsibilities, but I've been in a relationship a LONG time and have almost no experience with the adult dating scene. One of the first scenes was an attempted pick up in a Baskin Robbins. After I wrote it, I thought it was probably pretty odd for a stone-cold-sober person, licking a scoop of rocky road, to ask a near stranger to go to bed with them. (Or is it?)

The final challenge is writing a British character. I talk to British people at work pretty often, but it's always in a professional context. I've never flirted with a British person. I keep finding myself googling things like, "Do Brits call themselves Brits?" (no) and "Do British people use the word popsicle?" (apparently they call them ice lollies?)

Despite the challenges, I'm really enjoying writing this book. I hope someday you can read it. If not, at least this blog post has given you the opportunity to ogle a picture of Mcfly for a few minutes. It's unfair how good looking they are, isn't it? (yes.)

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