Thursday, 23 January 2014

Hopscotch & Hummingbirds.

I hadn't really written anything since October 2013, or November 2013 if you consider the editing of Project 10x10. Sure, I've been whining about how I should write something, but I hadn't been writing. At first I figured I was just decompressing from the tribulation that was Project 10x10 but 2.5 to 3 months isn't decompression, it's laziness and avoidance.

"Oh, I should work on that thingy..."

"I should start that re-write of Project C..."

"I haven't touched Amethyst Breed in months..."

"I should look into self-publishing Blood in the Water..."

"...something, something...Necropolis...?"

"....Ehhhh."

While I'm not one of those people who believes a writer should write every day or else they're not a writer, my lack of gumption was causing me to question my dedication.

Then, last week, out of absolutely nowhere I decided to put pencil to paper aaaaaaand...

Redesign ShadowWolf, the (arguably) main character of that weird stuck-in-limbo story Elven Lacryment. Every few years, it seems ShadowWolf pops up with a slightly new look. Nothing drastic, just a new outfit.

Then I began evaluating some narration glitches and plot holes, patched a few of them up, and wrote a few pages worth of the manuscript. What I didn't write, I planned out to be expanded upon later.

Riding high from long overdue progress I emailed my editor and we worked out that there needs to be a thorough scrub of Next to Godliness, so she is working on going through it, slashing out unnecessary subplots.

Then I took a good, hard look at Project C.

The problems with Project C are legion. It's overwrought and needlessly dramatic in its prose, I was in constant pain and bed-ridden when I wrote it so my judgement might have been more than a little off. Things didn't click right, I didn't like whole swaths of it in the middle. It was my first novel, and I wrote it in something like 4 months or so, but hey, I couldn't get out of bed so what else was I going to do? I've grown as a writer, maybe I should just give up on this story, even though I still feel I owe it to the characters for getting me through tough times? Or maybe it's just a stupid story that will never ring true.

Finally, after weeks and weeks of self-torment, doubt, two false starts and retooling, and with heavy guidance and blunt discussion with a friend, I finally began Project C 2014. I am only on the third page, or 742 words in, but already I can feel a massive change. The protagonist alone seems like a wholly different character, much more malleable, far less arrogant and metaphorically bullet-proof. He's not as show-boating. The first time, he's an idealist who slowly became broken because he let the world corrupt him. I think in this version, he starts out broken and rebuilds himself. Does he rebuild himself for the better? I don't know yet.

I'm concerned though, that I'll still cannibalize parts of the old draft and that this might be a mistake.  So I sort of want to put the old draft, with it's old premise, on my external hard drive, then delete all the copies off my laptop. Because I know I'll be too lazy to constantly have to fetch my external. Of course, there's a flaw with this plan as I also have backups resting comfortably in several email accounts so I can access them from any place with an internet connection.

So between cutting up Next to Godliness, giving ShadowWolf a new outfit which better suits her disposition, and Project C 2014, it seems now is a rather transformative time for my stories.

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