I had an idea that if I could do writing work for 8 hours a day (or, better put, 40 hours a week), I would accomplish the goal. That would be full-time, that would be perseverance, and that would have to have a finished product to be proud of. How could it not?
It's a very good idea in theory. I'm certainly appreciating the scrutiny of my time. (I have a stopwatch and a piece of paper detailing my pursuits today. It's enlightening.) But what on earth are you supposed to do when you're staring at an outline of a book written twice over and wondering how you ever got from Point A to Point B?
I wrote this book once, consciously skipping a lot of backstory in the interest of getting to the end and completing the book. The second time I wrote it, I inserted the backstory, introduced the previously invisible characters, and generally put forth way too much information. Now I'm trying to outline the third draft and desperately seeking the balance between the two methods. I'm looking back at the first draft and wondering what it was that I didn't like (it's more innocent, more childish, more suited to the characters and the fantastical story), and then I'm looking at the second draft and wondering why I chose to be so...explanatory.
There's a balance in here, somewhere! (There has to be.)
I always thought I would take the best of the first and the best of the second, but, honestly, I changed the story a little bit between the two drafts. The best of the first doesn't match with the best of the second. So today is the day of reckoning in which I choose what really has to go, and what really must stay, and somehow mesh them all together to create a story that is as captivating and intriguing as what I first envisioned.
A good story should not be this hard. Or maybe it should be. Maybe that's the price you pay for a good story, and that's why there are so few.
I'm just so afraid I'm going to leave out something important, or leave in something ridiculous. And to go through all this with the thought that I simply must work on this for a professional, and not hobby-like, length of time if a writer is what I want to be -- it's torture. Every single plotline I ever wrote or imagined is spinning through my head and making a mess worse than a tangled knitting basket.
So I figured I would take a quick break and blog about it. Hopefully some of my creativity will return to me when I return to Microsoft Office Word 2007.
iTunes DJ"Raising the Cross," from The Passion of the Christ
"Psalm 64B," by the Genevan Foundation for Cultural Renewal
"Declaration of Independence," from National Treasure
"The Living Stone," by David Williams
"Tradition," from Fiddler on the Roof
"Firefly," by Common Children