Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Bone to Pick

Cards on the table. I'm going to be honest with you. This will come as a huge shock to some people and probably cause very little surprise in others.

I am impatient.

I was born that way. I want what I want and I want it five seconds ago!

This is how my story started.
Bare and lacking a lot of
detail.
Which made the writing more difficult when I decided to expand THL. My first attempt was pretty vapid. It felt empty, forced, fake. I got it done, but I was in no way proud of what I'd filled the pages with. And when I was able to admit to myself that it was not something anyone wanted to read, I cut the parts that didn't work and rewrote, incorporating very little of that word slurry that had been there.

I am stuck at 72,000 words. I know how to kill the evil serpent that wants to destroy all man-kind. Or, at least, Abel for right now. I recently decided to change the very end, but I haven't done it yet. I'm just so tired of kicking these characters, I could lay down on the floor and have a temper tantrum. Some of the things I read that the authors put their characters through, it just gets more and more ridiculous. I don't want to be one of those authors. I want Abel and Romy to go on a journey, reach the first part of their destination, continue on to the next part of the journey, find the serpent, kill the serpent, live happily ever after.

Can't let the characters win that easy. We must torture them so they will grow and become unforgettable heroes who can overcome anything. Anything. I see this tactic employed quite a bit. For the sake of drawing a book out, to meet a 100,000 word count, writers will find the most impossible situations to throw their characters in. When I read a book where this is done, I want to send e-mails to that author for dragging the situation out. For adding ridiculous enemies, impossible odds. I can't remember the name of the book I read that that happened in. That's how important it was to me. It wasn't.

This is how my story must end.
Glossy and full-fleshed.
I wrote THL as a novella because I didn't have the patience to sit down and write a full-length novel. The decision to make it 80,000 words wasn't made lightly. I have good characters. They take care of their bugs#$% crazy writer. They are tired and stunned, worried and half- drowned at this point. What's next? they ask, looking like the photos of starving orphans and refugees from a third-world country. I have rallied my muse, raised my spirit, read every single page of the dictionary to gather enough words to extend it to its 72,000 word glory and now I'm staring at the end of a sentence and a blinking cursor. You caught me, I didn't really read every page of the dictionary. Or even one.

I'm just frustrated because I'm stuck on a scene that feels cheesy and so intensely different than anything I imagined when I first wrote the novella. Once again, I'm looking at a chapter that is bare bones. I'm even doubting that I had the strength to finish. My quick fix for an empty chapter? Add some dialogue. But what can I say here that hasn't been said? How many times can Abel and Romy comfort each other? Let's just find this damn snake already! And then I remember: This is art, a statue three quarters of the way finished and waiting for eager hands to chip away the marble until tear-inducing beauty emerges.

But I'm so impatient.

4 comments:

  1. First of all, I want to commend you for adding that many more words. I know it would be hard for me, too. Second, MS Impatient, put it away for a few weeks, then look at it with fresh eyes. Perhaps it's not as bad as you think.
    Wanda

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  2. I did a couple hundred more words last night. Actually, I was surprised by now not bad it was, but it's awful short. I'll just have to keep thinking about it I guess.

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  3. Wow! Good luck with it all! If you have characters that you love so much and that are THAT awesome, you'll get there. They'll help you find the way. :)

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  4. You'll do it. I have all the faith in the world in you. And that's a lot of faith. But I so get the impatient part. I'm an impatient person too.

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