Growing Pains

For the longest while I’ve had this idea for a story/book in my head, but try as I might, I could not pen it down. Not until last week, at least.

Last weekend I sat and I wrote and wrote and wrote. The words flowed out of me like a raging river, but not so raging. I loved it. I would come home and write, and when I look at the clock it was almost midnight, and sleep was nowhere to be found – I needed to write.

In Hemingway’s words, I bled all over my laptop last week. I loved my characters, loved their chemistry, loved the story line, loved the scenery, loved the direction, loved the twists and turns and lows and highs. I even got to a point where my protagonist discovered something I hadn’t planned on her finding at that moment, but she did, and I had to roll with it.

I am a free-styler I like to believe, and I love creating and developing the story as I go along. I personally think it allows you to grow with the story and the characters, to be just as surprised as them when something happens. Do you know what I’m talking about?

Up to Friday last, I wrote 19,000 words. o.O Can you believe that? I don’t know what’s the average a writer writes in a week but I am kind of impressed with myself (please don’t burst my bubble). But since my protagonist found this thing she wasn’t supposed to, I decided it was time to get some honest feedback on how the story is so far before I go any further.

It was not until then that I really started feeling like my writing was crap! Up until I decided to let someone else read it, I was all honky-doory and fine with it, but as soon as I needed someone to read it, I got jitters, I felt nervous, I felt like it wasn’t good enough. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily think my writing is great or terrible. On my blog I write how I feel fi write, who don’t like, just don’t ‘like’ it. It’s that simple. But with a book, I realise that what I like, will not fancy everyone. And I knew the things I liked, the way I like to write, would not grab this particular reader.

So that’s my problem number one: how do you write what you like in a story so that others will like it too?

Then there was the grammar thing – yeah I obviously suck at grammar, and apparently most of the terminologies I use are inherently Jamaican, and according to the reader, not everybody will understand the context and so on. So yeah, I have to rewrite that :/

Then there’s the fact that there needs to be something happening in every chapter. I get that, but here’s the problem I have with this. I watched ‘About Time’ yesterday, where the men in a particular family had the ability to travel back in their timeline. They could go back and do things different, as long as it was apart of their history. However, in going back to change things, the protagonist changed everything that happened up until his present day. In one case he went back to help his sister in a situation but when he returned the baby he and his wife had was different from the one he knew, so it was just weird.

In order to change even just the beginning of the story, to create chaos and mayhem to make it interesting, the characters will change, their chemistry changes, the circumstances and everything ultimately changes. And it’s hard to move forward with a new ‘relationship’ when you fell in love with the previous one.

So that is where I am right now. Rewriting my first draft, anxious to continue, but also not 100% into because it is different, so much different from the last. Yeah . . . the joys of Growing Pains!

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9 comments

  1. I have at least 3 stories that I am writing….one in which I’ve been going back and forth to for five plus years. When I started writing I would pretty much volunteer my sister and best friend to read what I had written and to be HONEST, I was a nervous wreck!!! but their suggestions helped….but it’s better to have a friend review it first before you send it off, right? ~ Good Luck with your story!

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    • Thanks Jolene, I know their criticisms help. The pointers he gave me already help me formulate a better story (I hope) but did you ever feel like the redraft you’re working on is not really the story you wanted to write? And how did you get it back to the place where you loved it again? That’s my problem.

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      • PS: How do you write 3 stories at once?! I’ve been toying with the idea but sometimes it feels overwhelming. So I want to concentrate on one at a time, but I have others I want to write.

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      • keep a story board … I tried to do this on my laptop but I needed to SEE it all the time so I use a piece of construction paper. It’s actually hard to keep to the actual story….just remember although you are getting feedback you still need to stay true to you and your characters. …… and you know, there’s nothing wrong with your character or characters using Jamaican lingo, it could help your a character stand out.

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      • Thank you so much Jolene 🙂 “although you are getting feedback you still need to stay true to you and your characters” is the best advice I’ve gotten in a while. Really appreciate that reminder 😉

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  2. That’s how I felt when writing the first article. Keep at it, stay true to you! Everyone may not ‘like’ it but i’m sure at least one person will LOVE it!

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