See, I've wanted to write a story with a hero trapped in a cage for quite a while. I had the opportunity to play with that a little when I was collaborating, but in my solo work, it just never found its way to the light. When it came time to start brainstorming for the music pax, my thoughts went straight to "songbird" and something clicked. This was my cage story! I was so excited!
So I started writing.
I made it 700 words and stopped. My hero's voice, the one living outside the cage, just wasn't coming for me. To say I was frustrated is an understatement.
I started again, thinking maybe it was because of my mindset that it wasn't working.
It stalled again at just about the same point.
Now, I'm not the kind of writer who pokes and pokes at a story until it gets right. In all honesty, I have enough plot bunnies reproducing and running around inside my head to make chasing down a single idea kind of a wasted effort. But the thing is, I really liked the idea of this story, and the thought of giving up on it kind of made me sick to my stomach. I didn't want to quit on it. I wanted it to work, damn it.
When my third restart failed just as miserably, you'd think I would just give up. I almost did. I was mostly convinced the story was never going to see the light of day, but at this point, I was so annoyed I couldn't get it to work that I was bound and determined to make it happen. (For future reference, the surest way to get me to do something is to tell me I can't do it, lol.)
I decided to take a risk. A big one. I'd been trying to write the story in 3rd person from the outside hero's perspective, so in my last ditch effort to try and get it off the ground, I switched to 1st person POV in the caged hero's perspective. My original rationale had been I couldn't start with such limitations. He's in a cage! He communicates through music! How on earth was I ever going to get the story off the ground with such blinders on?
Well, wouldn't you know it, but changing it over worked like a charm. That first chapter came out of me like water. And when I encountered my next big challenge--how was I going to learn anything about the plot or the world if I was stuck in Dek's POV--I decided to hell with it and opted to write the story in alternating 1st POVs.
It's one of the single most romantic stories I've ever written. I couldn't be happier with it, especially since I know I'm going to come back to this world and some of the secondary characters in future works. It also proves to me that taking a risk is almost always worth it.
What kind of risks have you taken lately?
Aria of the Eclipse by Vivien Dean is now available at Amber Allure.
If you'd like the chance to win the entire pax collection, just leave a comment on today's post. On Saturday, a winner will be picked at random from all the comments made this week on the blog. Comment on all, and that's multiple chances to win!