Turning Back from a Book

Good morning or evening, wherever you are!

I have been working on a particular creative writing project since March, but today it’s time to turn back, or at least to step back, abandon it, and return when I can.

This book has troubled me all along. When I wrote the first draft, I did so somewhat in hiding. There was a nagging sense that I was doing something wrong.

I had my plans all laid out, that I would produce a solid second draft between October and November, perfect its language throughout December, and decide on self or traditional publishing in the New Year. I’ll have to step back.

I recently read a book by a self-published author named J.F. Penn, also known as Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn. I had written my draft in March-June and read her story, Map of Shadows, in September or something, but it turned out that we basically have the same general plotline. Without fear of spoilers, I’ll tell you that both groups begin in “the real world,” discover an alternate mission/escape, get an explanation of that alternative, jump into it, and then “go into Hell” to eventually defeat it.

Just like with J.F. Penn’s book, I am hesitant to go further when I see that the adventure is about to take me into a land I don’t want to go. This isn’t altogether physical, but spiritual. The way this book is going, I am going to promote a religion I’m against and the world of principalities I want to see the LORD defeat. Sure, my characters do turn around after a full emersion in their worldview and regime, but that’s not what I want to happen.

Just like J.F. Penn, I bought at least two books on the topics I wished to include in the story. I have not gotten past the introduction of one of them, and I had to put down the other. I wrote a blog on this which I might share here without even looking at it. In short, it gave me insomnia every time I picked it up, because it’s demonic and taps into Japan’s horror/ghost culture.

I also have had a hard time personally with this book I’m working on. In stepping back, I am sad to let go of a time and place and people, which I want to preserve in a story. But I also realize that going over that time has given me deceptive feelings and even a deceptive dream. The final result as it is may even hurt others.

I’ve stopped at the point in which they “go into Hell.” In which they go to be immersed in a religion I’m against. When I passed the idea of a series-of-riddles challenge for the book long ago, the person I was speaking to frowned. It’s too bad I can’t have an insight now into why it was a troubling idea. However, I hope now to step back, pray, and ask that God would show me what to say before I ever touch it again. Will I? I don’t know. It is like breaking apart an old pumpkin and then thinking of crumpling it up later. If anything, the title will no longer be “Portal to Japan” and I’ll be praying all day about this as well as the country’s direction.

Do other writers also face this kind of dramatic writer’s block?