Saturday, May 7, 2011

Crystal Clear

Yeah, that didn't work.  On my journey to discover who I am as a writer, I can just go ahead and eliminate writing-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, without having any idea what's next. 

After writing the littlest bit, I was so lost and directionless that I had to stop to at least try to figure out who my main character was.  I did have an idea that seemed pretty good, possibly.  I thought about it for a few days, and started to get into the idea, even though a few nagging doubts plagued me.   I never know whether to listen to nagging doubts, and am pretty bad at distinguishing which ones are valid and which are neurotic and self-defeating.  Both kinds seem equally strident, frankly.

Knowing that I can trust my husband to give me his honest opinion, I explained my character(s) and the outline of the plot.  He listened carefully, and then pointed out that this was basically the exact same plot and virtually the same characters as my novel.

Well, crap.

Still, I thought about it for a couple of days.  What does he know, anyway?  Maybe my novel was just sort of a warm-up exercise, and this was the improved version I was meant to write.  Maybe with a few well-chosen changes this would be a completely different story, and worth writing.  I imagined various scenarios and tried to let the characters speak to me.

Nope, he was right.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was all surface and no depth.

As I mentioned, I have two other ideas floating around, and once again I tried focusing on them.  The first, a novel about a woman who murders someone, just kind of waved at me from the back corners of my mind, but wasn't interested in coming out yet.  The second, a young adult novel about a teenage lesbian living in a small town, just jumped right out at me and started yelling.  Sweet!  Oh, the terribly detailed character sketches and outline I'm going to make...  Joy  :)

I feel really excited about this one, and details are coming to me quickly.  And, at least for now, the self-defeating neurotic voices have shut the hell up.


  1. I love that you can write about "hard" topics. If the world counted on me for real literature it would go wanting since I am strictly a light weight:)
    I am excited for you that you've gotten a new inspiration.

  2. Wonderful! Enjoy enjoy.

    And you can count on that Greg. It's clear your novel isn't done with you yet.

  3. Do you write your blogs by the seat of your pants? I know I do! I write a bunch of crap hit "publish" and then scramble for the next 30 minutes to go back and edit, publish, edit, publish over and over :D Do you have a hugely different frame of mind when you write FOR REAL and when you blog write?

  4. Thanks, Wooz! I'm excited to.

    Angella, I guess that is true. Thank you :)

    Lindy, it is different when I am just writing stuff about myself on my blog (and I do kind of the same thing you do, only I hit "Preview" over and over). When I work on a story I am trying to get out of my own head and into my characters. I think they are both FOR REAL writing, though. :D

  5. I loved your comment of blogget's most recent post. There are so many reasons I just love you! So glad to know you.

    ps. you don't need to approve this comment. just wanted to let you know i think you rock.

  6. Angella, your comments never fail to make me happy, and I hope you don't mind that I approved it. Thank you so much. You rock, too :)


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