Juneau, AK. The location of my story currently called the “behemoth.”
No more random editing on random stories. I took about a 3-week-long break from my behemoth, and that is ENOUGH. I miss the thing. I’ve been randomly editing part 1 of this story, even though I passed that in the rewrite months ago.
I know exactly where I am on the rewrite. It’s page 305. My question to myself now is, “who cares?” I’m starting to realize that this whole thing is cyclical. Yes, I’ll continue with the rewrite, but that does NOT mean that I can’t go back and edit and rewrite wherever I want. Just because I rewrote a bit doesn’t mean it’s “done.” I’ve had this thought during the process that once I rewrote something, I had to move on. Get through the rewrite as quickly as possible, keep going so I can get to part 4 faster.
My desire to start part 4 has never been stronger. I’ve been planning it obsessively for over a year now. It’s the finale of this whole big thing, the part where the two separate story lines come together and start to make sense as a whole. I want to start writing it so badly that I’m tempted to just jump into the middle of the story and get on with it, but I know that will be a mistake because when I write that way I screw things up. I get my timeline all out of whack and fixing it takes longer than getting to it through the rewrite process would have. Going in order works best for me.
But I’m going to start reading the story again. Sitting down and reading a chapter at a time. Normally I skim, look for things to edit, and move on. I try to cover as much ground as possible when I get the chance to write. But when I do that I don’t get the full effect of reading the story. I miss things. I need to just take a chapter at a time and read it thoroughly. I need to focus more on writing style instead of just getting the information down.
I’ve been working a lot to incorporate my secondary storyline into part 1, as well as to fix some of the issues I had with some of my characters. My dialogue wasn’t very strong before, either, so I’ve been fixing that, too. All of that is going better. But I’ve been so focused on that that I’ve forgotten about narrative. Once I’m done with my rewrite, I’m going to have to go back through and re-read the entire thing focusing only on the storytelling.
This is such a long process.
If it sounds like I’m complaining, that’s just because I like to complain. But working on this story is so much fun. It’s one of my favorite things to do in my spare time. Not being able to work on it as much as I’d like while I’m in school makes me sad. I start to miss the characters like I actually know them. I start to zone out in class and during conversations with real people because I’m planning things in my head.
Spring break starts tomorrow. Yes, I have class and work tomorrow, but mentally spring break starts tomorrow. Actually, mentally it started as soon as I finished my math exam at 8:37 this morning.
I have stuff to do over spring break, but I’m going to have boatloads of free time, too. I’m going to use that time to write. I want to make some real progress in the rewrite. I want to get unstuck from the 20-page section I’ve been stuck on for the last few months. I want to keep going, keep writing, see what happens with part 2 now that I’m letting go of my original plans for it, keep working on incorporating and building the secondary storyline, and have fun.
My Crazy Thoughts on Creating a Story:
I love my story. Maybe that sounds egotistical, but I don’t think so. It popped into my head and I’m writing it down. As far as I’m concerned, I hardly created it. I’m not making anything happen or making anyone do anything, I’m just figuring out what happens as we go along. I’m figuring out what those characters are capable of and how they think and talk and act and what they care about. I’m not making them do or think those things. They’re doing it and I’m seeing it.
That sounds crazy to me, and I wrote it. But the more I work on this story, the more I’m convinced that there’s a right way for a creation to go. It’s not all up to me. When something is wrong in the story, I can tell. It’s not like I can say, “Well, I like that part so I’m going to leave it,” and actually just leave it. No. If it doesn’t fit, I have to change it. If I don’t, I’m screwing with the story. I’m stifling it.
It’s not up to me. I don’t make the decisions. So much has changed with the story since I started it. Some of the changes were based on things I liked, but they ended up making the story better anyway. Those that didn’t, I had to change back.
I hate some of the other changes. One of my characters was a sweet, nice boy in the beginning, but ends up bitter and spiteful by the end of the story, something I didn’t want to see. It still makes me kind of sad when I’m planning. I tried to avoid it, but the circumstances that cause it are a major part of the story. I can’t change the circumstances, so I can’t change the collateral damage they create. Cause and effect without the effect just doesn’t work very well.
There’s another character who is severely depressed and jaded and doesn’t care about what happens to him. It took me a long time to figure out what happens with him. When I figured it out, I cried like something bad had happened to me personally. I don’t like it. At all. I’d rather not write it. But I really can’t change it. If I did, it would be a disservice to the story and to the character. I’m not sure there’s any way I could make it seem genuine, anyway. You know, since I know what really happens.
Now that I feel like this about writing, I’m trying to think about it while I read. I think if you’re really paying attention, you can tell when an author forced something to be a certain way. Like they either didn’t listen to what really needed to happen or they didn’t give it enough time to figure it out.
It makes reading more fun. It gives me more to think about. I like it.
And, of course, I’m a wildly popular, successful published author, so I know exactly what I’m talking about and am NOT just some weird lady who really likes writing, rambling online on her little blog….