My Story Broke Up With Me — and I Couldn’t Be Happier

photo-1474015833661-686ed67f9485

We've been together for years. While I'd written other novels before during the high-pressured flurry of NaNoWriMo, I had never studied writing craft so deeply and applied it so faithfully to my own work.

We grew up together, my story and I. As I worked on it, I began to think of myself as a writer, as a full-on novelist. The novel itself unfurled from a tiny idea nugget into a solid, multilevel plot with fascinating, fully-realized characters. Interesting ideas flashed bright and flamed out. Subplots erupted, threatened to take over, and ultimately urged growth throughout the storyline. A character once banished to placeholder status is now a key challenger and ally. Along the torturous, unmarked journey, the story and I worked together, delighted and frustrated, but always committed.

Characters were upfront, opinionated, and insistent. A bossy character told me that I was writing the story wrong and dictated the opening scenes. (She was right. Eleanor is always right until she learns better.) A character who originally refused to share the terrible night that ruined his life finally got fed up with my prodding; the happy, rewarding life that he has lived is the aftermath of tragedy. A key secondary character left the story entirely, telling me that she would do better in another novel.

The biggest, meanest antagonist showed me the light side of the mean guy. No mean guy considers himself to be evil — everything he does is intended for good. He revealed his soft, pale underbelly and I saw how grievously wrong things had turned out for him, how lost and defeated he lives, and how he aches to accomplish something lasting, powerful, and important no matter what it takes, no matter the casualties.

I learned point of view and voice, practicing first person and third person in successive drafts, deepening my appreciation for their opportunities and limits . Reluctantly, I admitted and adjusted my enthusiastic reliance on adverbs and florid description. I studied continuously and used what I learned. More times than I want to remember, I stunned a teacher by thanking them for blowing up and progressing my craft and my story.

This novel has been thrashed out and discussed with others. It has also been read by many generous, discerning early readers. Various versions have been workshopped and shared with critique groups. Right now, the novel and I are in deep revision and in the hands of an adept, smart, supportive critique partner.

All summer, I wondered if I should do NaNoWriMo. Ultimately, I concluded this novel came first, that my time was better invested in finalizing the last wondrous version of this terrific story. My heart's pleas that I love NaNoWriMo, learn so much, and cherish winning for the past ten years lost to hard-headed practicality, logic, and good sense. I was resolved to do the smart thing no matter how niggling ideas writhed doubt.

...

My Story Broke Up With Me — and I Couldn’t Be Happier

We’ve been together for years. While I’d written other novels before during the high-pressured flurry of NaNoWriMo, I had never studied writing craft so deeply and applied it so faithfully to my own…
The Myth of Writer’s Block
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Monday, 19 February 2018
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Writer Biography

World class writer whom travel the 365 days on a yacht. ...

Writers

Mac Joomla
0 post(s)
Mac Joomla has not set their biography yet
wuvows
0 post(s)
wuvows has not set their biography yet
Trip Lsdigital
0 post(s)
Trip Lsdigital has not set their biography yet
Alexander Zograf
0 post(s)
Alexander Zograf has not set their biography yet
Itamar Jobani
0 post(s)
Itamar Jobani has not set their biography yet

Popular Articles

We've been together for years. While I'd written other novels before during the high-pressured flurry of NaNoWriMo, I had never studied writing craft so deeply and applied it so faithfully to my own w...
Someone once told me to write about what I know, so here's this:I'm good at not fitting in. I do it all the time. But humans need to belong, so I do these things to make people think I'm a normal huma...
I spent years falling into the black, bottomless abyss of of Writer's Block. I hit the wall time and time again, blaming it on an endless string of excuses, all of which ended with "Oh, woe, woe is me...
This is a short manifesto for makers and creators, whether it's events, programmes, startups, books, poems, art, etc.We all get stuck in a rut. Maybe you have writers' block, or can't seem to crack th...
These days everybody knows about the ampersand. It's one of typography's most unique and interesting characters.Its rise to hipster fame has catapulted the ampersand from the sketchbooks of type desig...

Albums

No photos available
No photos available
No photos available
No photos available
No photos available