Grief, Chronicles of Jane Windall, and Other Such Coolness

Excellent news! I have my laptop back good as new, perhaps even better than new.  I can now load my stories back onto it and work feverishly.  In the meantime, I’ve updated The Chronicles of Jane Windall here:

https://crampedwriting.wordpress.com/storystuff/

It took longer to produce, but I had to include everything I could for the sake of your sanity and mine.  So it is a bit longer than I was shooting for, but hey, more minutes to waste reading it, right? Fun time-killer.  At least for me. First excerpt may be rewritten at some point, but at the moment, since it is more of a writing exercise I’m leaving it as is.  Sorry everyone.  Also, came across a rather long, but completely accurate (in my opinion) portrayal of the story-writing process.  Ironically enough, it leads me into something I was thinking about yesterday.  You can find this interesting post here:

http://achristinewriter.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/the-writing-process/

Now I get to the nuts and bolts of yesterday’s random musings:

Grief.

What? Huh?

I’m not talking about trying to write a grieving character.  I am not the best person to try and write such a character or talk about it.  Well, I’m probably not the best person to give any kind of writing advice, which is why I’m just talking about my writing journey instead of giving advice (most of the time).

Anyway, back on topic.  I am talking about when you finally slog through a manuscript and you realize at the end that it is not what you hoped it would be (mentioned in A. Christine’s blog in much more detail –link above–). I alluded to trashing a manuscript in another post entitled “Ninjawriting”, https://crampedwriting.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/ninjawriting/.

Here is what happened in a nutshell.  I had the entire plot outlined, began writing, and then circumstances and characters completely derailed my original intent. This is not, upon reflection, an entirely bad thing.  In fact, I like the new plotline even better than my original intended one.  Yes there are parts that were crap simply to get through the scenes (bad me!), but I had to push through them to hit the next phase.  Obviously I knew before I even hit the “print” button that there were large sections to rewrite.  It is easier for me to rewrite if I print it out.  Don’t ask why, because I have no idea. Anywho…as I started the editing process, before the pages had cooled from the heat of my beloved printer, a horrible realization settled on me.  I remembered my original intent, I knew the end of my story, and then I saw all the loose ends.  Then I realize that it doesn’t flow the way it should because my plot shifted.  Again, not a bad thing because I eventually realized that the plot became better, but still disappointing. It was like I hadn’t even written it.

When that happened, I put the writing in a box and didn’t even lift the lid once to peek on it until yesterday.  I only opened it yesterday to look for a red editing pen, but was pleased to find that my heart no longer squeezed uncomfortably when I looked at the manuscript.  This is a very good sign. So it hit me yesterday that I had been grieving.  I had to grieve for the characters who would never be quite as I imagined. They were not as good or idealistic as I hoped.  I grieved for the hacked-up plotline, even though it is now better. I grieved for the crap scenes I will need to rewrite.  I grieved for the time I spent on the process; hopes collected into words on a page that ended up letting me down.

A friend of mine was angry that I refused to share my story (he had read part of it already).  He did not understand the magnitude of what I felt, with my completed first draft, figuratively coming to pieces before my eyes. No one, and I mean NO ONE should ever see that first draft.  If I didn’t have to look at it to rewrite, even I would never look at it again. I couldn’t find the words to explain to him that I needed time away from my manuscript; that I was literally unable to go through the editing process.  Now I get it.  Of course, it is a little late (months later) to be helpful in expressing this to my friend but whatever.

I am exceedingly grateful that I didn’t immediately toss it in the trash. That may have been even more devastating after coming to understand that the story is still worth the effort and that I can now begin editing.  Since this is my first completed novel, I am hoping the effects were stronger and that I will be able to handle other “writing crises” more effectively next time.

There is my rambling for the day.

If you absolutely must have more random craziness from my odd brain you may check out another blog I have here:

http://camikahayes.blogspot.com/

Until we meet again dear friends! Or should I say minions? Mwhaha!

~puts evil alter ego back in the closet~

Ahem, have a good one folks!

3 comments

  1. I would not be surprised if every single writer grieved that what they condensed into words was not the full extent of the story they had in their heads. Poets and playwrights and authors all through time have tried to perfect the art of making what’s on the page as close as possible to what’s in their head, to explain things to their most accurate and fullest extent – it’s a constant growth process, and one that I’m not sure anyone ever masters.

    • I agree, but I sincerely hope that I won’t need to stay away from other manuscripts for a year. I am pretty sure it has been a year, maybe longer. It feels like so much wasted time, but I really could not face my story again. I agree that writing is a constant growth process. I am not sure that it will ever be one of those “comfortable” jobs for me, but the challenge is why I love it. Thanks much for stopping by and commenting! 🙂

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