Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Change of Plans - Abandoning NaNoWriMo

Sometimes my muse disagrees with my choice of writing projects. Sometimes I can win the fight, but other times I have to give in.

Sadly, this time, I have to give in to the muse. She realized something before I did.

I have been very open about being a survivor of abuse. I am often in awe that I made it out of my childhood alive, let alone sane. If not for my amazing mother and her constant support and love, I don't believe I would be here today. I was blessed with at least one good parent.

Because I am a survivor I struggle with certain triggers that can activate my PTSD.  Therapy has helped me out tremendously and my anxiety attacks are few and far between. Weirdly, there are time periods during the year that are just harder for me to write about certain themes. November has been a rough month for me all my life. This November has been a lot better than previous ones, a sign of my progressive healing, so I decided to take on NaNoWriMo. My choice for a project was my novella in the PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES universe featuring Aimee the witch and Cass the dhamphir from PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS.

I loaded up the cover artwork on my background, made a new project file for the novella, and did my background sheets for my characters. I was flying in the beginning of November then faltered. It grew more difficult to write and I found myself struggling just to open the project.

While writing last night, I finally realized why I'm having such a rough time. 1) This is November. A difficult month with an invisible trigger. 2) One of the characters in the story is in a relationship that mirrors an abusive relationship.  Though the two characters in the relationship are a vampire and witch and the relationship is all about the vampire trying to keep the witch in servitude, the underlying themes are the same.  I realized that I have been inadvertently triggering myself with my own writing.

So I'm setting aside PRETTY WHEN THEY COLLIDE until after the new year when I'm out of a difficult time period. I'm going to aim for a March 2013 release date for it. I want the story about Cass and Aimee to be the best it can be and right now I feel I'm letting them down.

I have written about abusive relationships before (Jenni from AS THE WORLD DIES was a battered wife, and Glynis is abused by Dracula in THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE), so I do think the combination of the themes of the story and the dark cloud of November has been my problem.

Therefore, I'm moving on to THE MIDNIGHT SPELL to wrap it up and get it to the editor in a timely manner for its February 2013 publication.

I'm a little bummed not to finish NaNoWriMo, but I have to take care of myself.


  1. I just have to ask why the lesbian couple that is being featured is an abusive controlling relationship? Why go there when there are So Many beautiful relationships and stories to tell? Perhaps you're resistant not just because of your personal history and triggers, but because the story is actually going away from what your muse is trying to tell you? Just a thought. I hope you're feeling better soon.

    1. Cass and Aimee aren't in an abusive relationship. Aimee is "controlled" by a vampire that she has grown to despise and is secretly maneuvering behind the scenes to get out. Her relationship with Francois is what was triggering me.

      I find Cass and Aimee's relationship actually really sweet and one of my favs.

      This novella is all about how they meet and fight against the big bad (Francois).


    2. I am really looking forward to this Rhiannon! Feel better ,I understand what your going threw . I have also been threw situations such as yours growing up and even going to adulthood to today! But sometimes we just have to dig down deep with in ourselves and just be angry enough not to let it bring you down anymore!It kind of triggers a strength with in you per say. Instead of anxiety. I hope that made sense, At least for myself it works out ok. Have a great New Year

    3. Robin,

      Thanks for your kind encouragement. I do get flashes of anger after the anxiety attacks. Sadly, triggers still go off sometimes and the black hole swallows me before I can even take another breath. That's just how PTSD works in my case. Once I realize I'm triggered, I have therapies that help me break out of it. Then I'm usually royally ticked off that the triggers are still there. Happily, over the years I have disarmed a lot of the triggers to the point that I live a really happy life.

      In the case of this particular story, I just needed to step back from it until I was in a better space.

      No worries. It will be written and soon!


  2. so i just stumbled into ur writings. how do i keep up with u??? facebook?? do u have any other novels out??

    1. I have two websites: (for my zombie trilogy) (for my writing career)

      You can find me on facebook under Rhiannon Frater and Twitter, too!

      I hope you enjoy my novels. :)


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