Friday, June 29, 2012

A Miracle In My Brain

Theme Quote Of The Day:
If that were true, then only dead men could write obituaries.
Red Smith

I gave up on heavy editing half a page into reading my manuscript (working title: The Monster Squad). There will be other reads - a helluva lotta them - and god knows, I'll be sick of it by the time I'm anywhere near close to sending it out into the world.

But there will only be one first read.

Because I now write "first draft" (more like a really long, really detailed outline) longhand, I put the words down and then forget them. I don't look back as I read. I write, I remember the most recent events, and I keep going. The characters come to life more and more in my head, and I don't have to remember what they're like; I love them like people, fully formed and very real inside my head.
Yeah, there are inconsistencies already, mostly because I didn't know them as well when I started as I did when I finished. But I don't care. I actually CAN'T edit right now, because I'm enjoying the story so much.

It's making me laugh, and almost cry, and by god, if I can do that to myself with my own words, with work, it'll be phenomenal. Can I do the work? Maybe. But I have hope.

I am not a magical being; I do not live in this world; I don't have the mind of a predator, or ex-military. I don't need these things. I have research, and some spark of creation, and it's worked. The overall draft is fucked up in a lot of ways, but that's what editing's for.

I've captured humor, and horror, and sorrow, and something extra special that I can't define, and I am eager to get back to reading, and to making these words shine to others like they shine in my own head.

That's all I can ask of my work - and more than anyone can ever hope to successfully bring to the table...and yet, it happens. I think it's happened to me. And that's why I can't be anything more or less than what I've been since I was 10: A goddamn writer.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Fifth Novel, She Is Written

Theme Quote Of The Day:
It is better to write a bad first draft than to write no first draft at all.
Will Shetterly

I did a Great Big Thing today: I wrote "THE END" at the bottom of a page, and suddenly, all those words, those little strokes across that page, became a novel.

I have forbidden myself from writing until 24 hours stood between that final moment and me. I already feel quite crazed enough, and more than that, the rough draft is shit.

I love the story, the characters, this brand new world, but the approximately 45,900 words are not the best words, and it's a big hot mess in a LOT of places. I knew each of those Big Fuck Ups were coming long before they did, because I have three "completed" novels under my belt, and I always lose my way somewhere in the middle, and rush the ending, unsure of what the fuck is happening because the rest of the story isn't as cohesive a whole as it should be.

And that's okay. You pay up at the beginning, or at the end. I wrote my first novel in four months when I was 16, my second in one when I was 19, my third in two when I was 20, and now, at 21, I took 10 days to end up with this blob.

That means I have a lot of fucking time open up to me; to read and reread; organize, polish, rearrange, gut and completely rework. That means I have a lot of Great Amazing Things ahead of me, and I'm proud of the mess, because it's an accomplishment not many people get to feel.

And I know it will be better, and soon. 22 hours 39 minutes from now, I will start the next step in a long and rewarding process, and I will make a novel out of this handwritten mess of a notebook.

And at some point, it will be allowed to have a name all its own.