Whatever it takes.
That’s the writer’s motto. The artist’s motto. WHATEVER IT TAKES!
Whatever it takes to put the words on the paper. What ever it takes to finish the rough draft. Whatever it takes to pick it back up and wrestle with the characters, plot, descriptions, style, genera expectations, voice, and readability until you have a finished product. Whatever it takes to get it published and into the hands of readers.
My stories are movies playing inside my head. They morph and change as I delve deeper, but it’s still just a movie playing in my head. I have to find the words to explain the story to you. Have you ever had someone tell you ABOUT a movie IN DETAIL? It’s usually terrible. Have you ever listened to a good/professional storyteller? There is a huge difference between those two experiences.
I think I’m getting a better grasp of the words, and how to make them go. How to hold back what the reader wants, make them work for it, give just enough to keep them hooked. And I can see the big picture hidden in the words. Themes and morals, sometimes hidden even from me until the full rough draft is done. But meshing the two, good-enough words and a big story, escapes me.
I’ve got a lot of rough drafts lying around. I’ve chosen one to learn how to tell a story on. It’s a robust story, with everything I love about the universe in it. The Main Character is a side of me I can easily access, so she frequently tells me to pull my shit together and finish the fuckin’ book! She’s a strong motivator.
I’ve tried to take it farther than just a rough draft, but I can’t seem to get my head around the seventeen pages… Wait. THIRTY-ONE PAGES of notes on changes, OR to apply the advice of the books I’ve read about storytelling. Like everybody else, I have commitments, work, family, and anxieties to deal with. And I deal with them, but then not a lot of energy for writing is left over. So, another year has slipped away from me, unpublished. Part of me wants to give up, and just write something new, something exciting, always rough drafts, and never bother to publish.
But, I’m a stubborn person. I WILL create a finished product. I just need the right tools.
I think I’ve found a couple more tools in the last few months. With ways to tinker, and lay out, and get more story off the page and into my hands. I’m good with my hands. I think with my hands, and I’m a visual person. I didn’t realize there were tools for that kind of brain. It’s kinda like outlining, kinda like story board, kinda like art. Lets see if it will help my get a handle on my revisions. Then I can begin the rewrite, choosing the right words to tell a story, instead of telling you about a story.
I’ll share the tools with you, once I have a firmer grip on them. I can’t be the only writer with these kinds of problems. For now, my writing is “Construction Zone! Please, Excuse the Mess!” (Hint: The tools are more books, but that really shouldn’t surprise you at this point.)
Happy Writing, y’all!