Risk vs. Reward

My goal with this author blog (well one) has been to try to update at least once a week, talk about craft, get chatty about process, and as we get closer and closer to the big day, let you know more about the book. So my apologies for spectacular fail last week.

The good news, while I left a few of you hanging, assuming you are that invested, is that the reason I was MIA was because I was burning the midnight candle completing the second draft of my manuscript, just in time for a little break before I dive into a third read before my due date (8/18, so close!). There are still a couple of scenes to be written, the most important of which take place in Nebraska, a state I almost nothing about. I do have someone helping me with that part, we’re just working on coordinating schedules to really nail down details before I tackle that piece. Plus, character development wise, it gives us a really important background context and insight into why one of our main characters functions as he does throughout the novel even as he’s going through many, many changes. 

Oooh lookie! I gave you guys a little hint: nameless character has ties to Nebraska. I’m sure this leaves you salivating for more (she says sarcastically, which is really not a great look on me, I don’t pull it off well). If you looked closely at the lovely picture I tweeted the other week, you can also find some character names spoiled there. I’ll leave you to ponder with bated breath which one of them is from where. Oh! In reading an old blog post, I realize I did drop a character name, so I’ll unveil my darling Cam. I won’t tell if where he’s from though. 

I’ve been thinking, as I closed out the end of this story draft and writing out the final scenes, about what themes I could really pinpoint in this story. I am *terrible* at summarizing and boiling down and such for my own work because I can be very tied to all the nuanced details and threads that I think are so important to the story. They all seem relevant m’kay?? 

I spoke in one of my first blog posts about avian30’s Dream It, Do It challenge, and a novel theme I’d been working on: taking chances. But when I’d think about the boys I have here and their process over the almost three years their story unfolds, I realized it is not just that they need to take chances, but also weight the potential costs and benefits of taking big risks. 

In our lives, we’re often presented with choices that don’t have easy answers, no guarantees that one path will truly pan out to be the best course of action. Perhaps both seem overwhelming, or frightening, or carry the impending weight of difficult changes that must be taken. Often the cost just cannot be calculated. Maybe as we decide to travel in one direction, we’ll have to let go of something: something we’ve wanted, held dear, a perception of who we were or thought we were going to be. These are moments when taking stock of putting ourselves out there will be worth that risk, if the potential payoff will actually, you know, pay off. And then, for many of us, there’s going to be a grieving process for the thing we knew, the thing we didn’t chose; even if we perceive that we ultimately made the right choice. That’s not even to speak of times we realize that we’ve made the wrong choice.

Now I can’t tell you if these boys make the right or wrong choices throughout the book — that’s a journey I’d love for you to embark on with them. 

I would love though, to talk with you guys about times in your life when you were faced with a choice that carried risk. Did it pan out? Did it not? How did you handle that process? 

If you’d like to chat, I’d love to respond to asks and messages on the topic; anyone want to come play?


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