Earlier this week, I had a moment where I realized I was writing the wrong book. This was a first for me. Though I'm a pantser, I usually have a good idea of what I'm getting myself into when I start a new book. I've happily worked on this book with the full intent of it being one thing. Then, a day or so ago, everything came to a grinding halt. I couldn't get anything to work the way I wanted, couldn't get a good picture in my head of what was happening. That meant I was forcing it and that, my friends, is a bad, bad thing. Usually when I force something, it's time to step away from the story for a while. I was resigned this particular story just wasn't working.
Then I had an epiphany.
The book I was writing wasn't what I thought it was. It was something entirely different. I had the characters down, the plot, the all important "conflict". It had all the right elements. Problem was, it kept trying to form itself into what I hadn't intended. So my choices were to either scrap it entirely, struggle to make it fit into what I did intend or suck it up and listen to my gut--not the right book.
So, I sent off the first five chapters to my CP and asked what she thought - without letting her know the issue I was having or my thoughts about what was going on. Next day she got back to me and you know what? My gut was right. The story was fine as it was, it just wasn't the book I started out writing. It's not a huge deal, at least I'm looking at it that way. I've gained a book I didn't know about. We'll see if I still feel the same when I finish it.