So I’ve been married to my novel for five years. I’ve made some changes along the way, but one thing that has been a constant, is my main character going to Fallujah Iraq.
Anybody that’s been around for a while, knows that Fallujah played a big role in the Iraq War. Camp Baharia was set up just outside the city. It was one of the nicer camps, and the playground of Sudam Husseins son’s, prior to their demise.
Well, when I wrote the framework of my novel five years ago, it was set at the end of the war . Fallujah had been won by the allies, and our marines were still there to maintain order, and ensure no further uprisings. That was the reason my main character had been sent there.
Since that time, Fallujah has been taken over by Isis and there is major fighting going on, as the Iraqi forces, along with the US and other allies, attempt to take it back.
It was the perfect setting when I started my novel, but it has evolved into the exact opposite of what I intended it to be. When people read Fallujah today, they don’t think about five years ago; they think about here and now and all of the turmoil in the region.
With that being said, my husband encouraged me a year ago to rethink Fallujah. He thought the current conflicts and notoriety of the region would cause serious doubts and credibility issues with my story. Well I didn’t want to listen to him, Fallujah was in my story, it had been there all along, and I didn’t want to change it.
Not to long ago I received a critique from a very skilled writer. Her main problem with the story, as you probably guessed already, was Fallujah, Iraq.
My husband loved that, and gave me the told you so look. I wish I could say he rose above it and didn’t say anything, but he quickly reminded me that he wasn’t a dummy. He knew what he was talking about:-)
One of the things I’ve heard time and time again from experienced writers, is sometimes you have to throw the baby out. That’s part of writing, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
So I’m throwing the baby out and looking for another Camp, maybe in Afghanistan.
If you’re on the fence, just do it. The sooner you let go and move on, the sooner you’ll get that novel completed. You might miss your baby for a while, but I’m thinking you’ll get over it, especially when your story comes together the way it was meant to be.