This is Awful

I spent the weekend working on a story that has been giving me trouble for years. I can’t settle on how to tell it.  I have the basic plot down and the main character, but I haven’t been able to move the story along.

In spite of my struggles, I know I have to write this story.  It’s been hanging around too long.  It won’t go away, though I’ve invited it to take a flying leap on several occasions.  This tells me there is a jewel in there somewhere.  I’ve just been digging in the wrong places.

I’ve never been this clueless about a story for so long.

Stubborn b***h that I am, I’m pressing ahead with the excavation, digging with my bare hands.  I’m writing the story down, knowing that this draft is awful and will have to undergo major surgery to make it work.  I read somewhere that you can’t edit what isn’t there, so I’m putting words on paper, forcing the story to take some sort of recognizable shape.  It will change again, perhaps many more times than it already has; but isn’t that what an embryo does? 

This is where a lot of aspiring writers fall by the wayside.  That initial flash of inspiration hits, but grinding out the details feels so much like work we are fooled into thinking that the inspiration is gone.  I used to think if the writing didn’t come easily, I wasn’t a good writer.  Not so, Writer Babes (and Bobs)!  The thinking, agonizing over words, trying a different voice, changing lines–that’s when the writing happens. 

The embryo takes shape over time and will not be rushed.  It will eventually emerge, but it will take heavy labor to get it out into the world.  Focus and breathe.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gpeynon
    Jun 10, 2014 @ 14:37:14

    I feel your pain. Stick with it. You’ll get there…


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