Wednesday, June 25, 2008

This is What

In answer to my own question in my previous post, I have decided to keep moving forward from where I left off. I believe that not finishing the draft and starting the revisions from the beginning, because it has been restarted so many times as I learned both my process and toward what I was moving to write, would leave me deflated. The patient, steady flame of its life force would be dimmed, perhaps snuffed. The vigor of finishing a draft, no matter how rough and with how many jagged shards, offers a sense of accomplishment, closure, and possibilities. Even if shadowed, I could at least make out the faint arc, make sure that it is what I think it is, and know on what exactly to focus and weave from the beginning ... with surety. I imagine that will only strengthen the narrative and my own resolve.

There will also only be more questions and discoveries as I push toward the end. New and unexpected things--the best of things--that would need weaving in ... again. So why not keep exploring, assume the changes of what came before, hold them in my mind and in notes, and get down the main thrust of the story?

Sounds so simple, yet I needed to take a few days to come to this conclusion. This was something that I had resolved to do from the very beginning of this project: write through to the end. But like a girl in the woods with no signposts and armed only with instinct and craft, I gauged every detour off the main path to the end, afraid that if I moved off the path to the end, I'd get myself stuck in darkness or thicket or succumb to internal monsters always seeking to do me in. But sometimes, when I did return from the detours and thicket-laden circles and turnarounds-- and I always did, I made sure of it--I found the main path clearer, more bountiful. In this case, the path would only grow over from lack of use and all of the hidden surprises will have already been plucked from the beginning path. Without reaching the end, there will be nothing new at the beginning. At least, not enough to make it worth the stop in journey. So on the main path I stay.

Here is a great link that I received from a friend about just this thing. I so wanted to use artist/writer, Laini Taylor's metaphors when explaining my thoughts about it. You should just visit her site anyway for the creative surge.

How about you? Do you feel there are proper times to go back to the beginning and times not to? How do you know one time from the other?

Hugs, C

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Now What?

Out of myopia and into interesting choices to make. I had to go off page for two weeks and write a bunch of backstory that tells me even more what, why, and how. One can ask oneself how one did not have this information up front. I should have known this when I started then I would not have hit this wall. Problem is, I never would have reached this wall in the first place if I hadn't have kept writing. I would not have known that I needed this information. I could not have known. So, deep breath and patience and soft talking as though I am fidgeting bird being lured by my self, I gave myself the space to write what was needed in order to finish the last third/quarter of the story.

Ha ha, but now here I am with backstory in hand and uncertainty about which direction to go. The backstory has given me a glimpse at the purpose of the story. I did not know this with all that I have written. It changes many things, though not all. Part of me believes that I need to go back to the beginning to rewrite now so that I better write the end, the other part believes that I need to go back to where I left off and find out more information before going back. I think I'm either 2/3 or 3/4 of the way through the story. The thing is: I imagine the ending either way will be different, and how much more writing that will not end up on the page am I willing to do? Well, I am willing to do whatever it takes to tell the best story, so that really is not the question. The question is how to make the best use of my efforts to get to the best place for the story?

Yesterday, I tried to dig in where I left off and I did not really feel it. I guess that part of me that knows so much will change is not eager to dwell in this part right now. So I will try to write the new opening that is necessary, which I can see pretty clearly. Perhaps that is my answer.

The backstory also taught me more about my characters and further deepened their roles, so perhaps I need to stick with that. After all, it is kind of hard to tie up a story if some of the strings are no longer attached.

What about you? Do you experience a point in a story where you are unsure whether to push forward or go back? When is right and when is it counterproductive, in your opinion?

Hugs, C

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