WEEK FOUR: WRITE YOUR NOVEL THIS SUMMER
Greetings, gentle reader.
Recall, if you will, my earlier posts, my desire to chronicle the progress and pitfalls of my writing journey. In the week since my last FORAGE, I’ve found myself making a little progress, but for the majority, I thought I’d joined Westley in the
Now, now. You’re probably thinking that my Fractured Tales Series has gone the way of the Dodo, but that’s not true, at all. In fact, I’ve blissfully used the term “drawing board adjacent”. I just needed to take a breather from all the words I was writing and actually look at the meaning behind them.
I get that we’re supposed to reach certain word counts and while that’s admirable, it’s also necessary stay on track. This is where my cookie crumbled. In my flexibility to adapt, I took way too many aspects and the story grew to a complexity that rivals those terrifying algebra test questions that never seem to end.
It took one of the more advanced workshops for me to wrap my brain around the tiny smudge that was daring to become a major plot abyss. I got caught up in all the bells and whistles of what my novel could be that I failed to listen to that bell’s first toll.
To help clear my head, I continued reading books from my TBR list to help inspire me or at least dig around in my brain to find the initial spark that ignited my passion for this WIP in the first place. I was brought back to STARGIRL and its follow-up LOVE, STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli. I’ve always loved MG and YA books. My WIP is of the YA persuasion although it’s set in a fantasy world. Spinelli draws us into an ordinary world and weaves in ordinary people who do ordinary things and yet, find themselves in sometimes extraordinary circumstances. I will say that Stargirl herself is an extraordinary ordinary character. Not fantasy but I saw the connection of how it could help me see my WIP in a different light. I could see the spark in the distance. It called out to me like an old friend asking how I’d been.
After we got the ‘Long time, no see’ small talk out of the way, I realized that I needn’t overwhelm myself in the drafting process. At the heart of any story, from the most plain to the most complicated, there lies a simplicity that resonates with the reader and it helps them get from Point A to Point B as they turn the page. I’m not saying that simplicity is the same thing as an easy process. No, I’ll have to dig deeper, all the way to the root of my overgrown plot line tree. If I don’t overwhelm myself, I won’t overwhelm the reader. It’s a win-win.
So, what have I learned from all this? What does X equal?
X = the beginning
X = the heart of the story
X = the reason why I wanted to write this story and share it with the world
X = reassessing my strategy
X = not giving up.
I continue the words. I continue the climb. The story’s not over yet. Literally. And now that I’ve gotten over the doldrums–my self-doubt and second guessing have since left the building–I can reconnect with my goals and get back on the path of creating something wonderful. It’s not so much a pitfall as it is a pitstop. If I were in the Indy 500, I’d need to make sure that everything was in good working order throughout the entire race. I think this week, as busy as it was outside of writing, has helped me reevaluate the importance of seeing the bigger picture and not being afraid to change course along the way. The path might have some unexpected twists and turns, but the destination remains the same for this writing journey.
On your mark, get set…