#amwriting and with that, #amconfused.
I began a new novel lately that I based on three short stories I’d written earlier. So cool, I thought! Half of it is already done for me. This will be great. Hah! As all writers know, writing comes from the heart and is an expression of your artistic view of the world. You can’t rush art.
And I had to start all over again on the fabulous idea I had.
First of all, it didn’t follow the rules of story structure with all the abstract characters. The short stories were good but they didn’t meld into one big novel. How could I get these characters to all go after one common goal – and then there was the new protagonist.
My story was all over the place. I had to write and rewrite making sure my main character was in charge. What if . . ., no that won’t work. Okay, then if . . . I outlined. I broke my story into three acts. I wrote out the internal and external conflict of my protagonist and made sure I had one antagonist – not a whole platoon of them. She couldn’t fight the world and win.
Finally, I had to admit that the three short stories had to just be characterizations and back story. I couldn’t use the short stories as the basis of this novel. The basis was the new main character and her blending with the others.
So, I took out the short stories – keeping them handy just in case – and began again. This time I concentrated on the main character’s struggles and making sure her stakes were high enough to keep her going toward a main goal. Then the short story characters could come in to help now and then.
The answer to my problem was – you can’t take shortcuts. You must begin at the beginning and, like eating an elephant, you do it one bite at a time.
I’m back on track now and beginning some work with my critique group. They are the backbone of all my writing and if they had seen the mess I made in the beginning, they’d still be laughing.
#amwriting and no longer confused.