Still at it

I’m nearing the end of Jasmine, and it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be. I have had to delete a whole chapter, and a few scenes were eliminated or rewritten entirely, but on the whole, it’s been a fairly quick rewrite.

I have asked a friend of mine to read it for me and give me her input. I have to know if the story works, and if there’s anything that needs to be tweaked, rewritten, or deleted. I want to know if the characters are believable. I need to know if it’s a good book or not. I don’t want to waste time on a dud.

If I hear good news, I’ll move on to looking for someone to proofread the book. My real issue will be cost. I’m just a poor boy, after all, but I don’t want someone cheap who doesn’t do a good job. I need someone with reasonable rates, preferably with some experience and recommendations.

Then I’ll need someone to do the covers for me. I have absolutely no experience in making covers. What’s more, I have no artistic abilities. I’ll have to find someone at some point. I guess I can ask around. I’m sure someone can point me in the right direction.

Until then, however, I’ll tinker with Jasmine, maybe eventually settle on a permanent name for it. It was Unseen Obsession at one point, but I hated that name. Maybe someone can help me with that, too.

Dusting off the pages

d14d88e637f0d811563873bce2a41d1fI pulled out my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel this evening and began to work on it. It’s one of the novels that I’m most passionate about because I think there’s something there, a story I want to tell. It’s probably also one of the most personal for me because it deals with a hard break up of the inability to move on from a betrayal.

I work that way when I write. I write about me, what I feel, my pain and sorrows, my joy and elations. Sure, I tend to stretch and distort what I went through, making the story its own entity, but I ground it with my own emotions, telling a story that I think we all can relate to because we’ve all lived it in a fashion.

What’s kept me from even trying to publish this novel, though I’ve wanted to for years, is the opening scene. I’ve never liked it. It felt jarring and forced, as though I was trying too hard to write something impactful that it became off-putting. It didn’t work, and the more I worked on it, the worse it got. In exasperation, I cast it aside, working on other projects, consigning it to be forgotten.

But it wouldn’t let itself be forgotten. I had to tell the story, and I finally pulled it up out of the depths of oblivion, or rather I opened the file on my computer, if you want to be pedantic, and I stared at the opening scene until it dawned on me that I would have to write a whole new scene. Took me a few years to finally accept it. The first scene had to go.

In actuality, all that scene needed was to be rewritten and used as the first scene of the second chapter. I decided to start the story with the situation that sets the whole narrative into motion, pulling it from the middle of the novel to the beginning. That means I have to do a little more work to erase that scene from a middle chapter, but I think it makes more sense this way.

I have a long way to go, but I like the way it flows now. It feels better, the timing works for me. I may have to tweak it a little, but I could probably do that from now until eternity. I’ll soon let it go. For now, I think I’ll get back to it. I can’t wait to be done with it and have you read it!

NaNoWriMo 2015: Is it day 19 already?

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-SquareIt’s the 19th day of NaNoWriMo, and I’m slightly behind, but not by much. I just now started writing for the day, and I have almost 2K words to write just to catch up, but over all, I think I’ve done a remarkable job staying on track, but I never was able to build the lead as I would have liked.

My problem right now is that my characters are flip flopping. One was my killer, a male who became a female-to-male crossdresser, but then the female character blossomed and is now a person in her own right. I’m going to have a lot of revising to do to fix this.

Then my two main characters, ex-lovers who are forced to work together in order to survive, are simply getting along too well. The tension between the two isn’t developing as it should. I need their history to make their close proximity to each other a difficult, almost impossible proposition. They need to become more hostile towards each other. I need Shelby’s animosity to grow to the point where her feelings of rejection and abandonment consume her, and it spills over.

This is the story I want to tell, of two people who once loved each other figuring out how to coexist. It needs to be about the pain of a broken heart, and learning to live when someone leaves when you need them the most. It’s the journey from the bitter edge, where one can lose all hope and direction, and learn that there’s more to life than one failure.

Right now, everything is too convoluted to make sense of it. You’d think I would learn by now, that writing doesn’t always go in the direction you hoped it would. No matter. Onward, ho!


Less than two weeks to go

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-SquareThe launch of NaNoWriMo 2015 is less than two weeks away and I can’t wait for it to start. Thirty days of insanity, at least that’s what I experience, but it’s not something I plan on passing up. I enjoy the feverish pace with which I write, a pace I really should get into the practice of doing on a daily basis. There’s a joy to be found in giving yourself permission to just let go and create without allowing the inner editor – or the voice of doubt – hold you back.

I’m joining the Lubbock NaNoWriMo Region once again, since they seem to be the most active, but I’m trying to find a group in Amarillo as well. Since I work in Amarillo, that region would make sense and would be the most convenient for me. Their Facebook page only has 15 members and the forum on the NaNoWriMo website isn’t very active, but I’m trying to get something started. I guess we’ll see how that turns out.

Regardless, I’m ready to get started on this project. I have an idea, a working title, and a vague sense of what I want to say. It’s the story of two ex-lovers who are forced back into each other’s lives, one who is self-centered and clueless, and the other who still harbors a lot of resentment over how the break-up took place, even after more than twenty years.

I like the story, I’m excited to write it, and all I’m looking for is a group of writers who share my enthusiasm. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t get excited about much. I’m excited about this. I’m even considering planning out the story, at least loosely, so that I can have an idea of where I’m going.

My first hurdle

Well, that didn’t take long! I hit a slight pothole while working on my book. Honestly, it feels more like I drove off the side of a cliff, tumbled down the embankment, and landed in turbulent seas. Though I have miraculously survived, the car is quickly filling with sea water, sinking, and I don’t know how to swim. This may be the end. If I don’t make…*glub glub*

I love a belabored metaphor. Sorry about that. Everything I’ve found so far have been relatively easy fixes. For example, one of my minor character’s story arc will be reduced, though not entirely eliminated. I want my main character to try to help her friend out with her problems while my M.C. is grappling with her own situation. What a friend! It’s all about putting everybody’s story arc in their proper perspective.

There are paragraphs, and a few scenes, that have been reduced or eliminated. Some didn’t fit, some took me as the reader out of the book, and some were just unnecessary. I’ve continued to refine my language, trying to say what needs to be said in as succinct a manner as possible. It’s hard work to write effortlessly.

The problem I found involves another of my characters. Something about them isn’t clicking. I like the character, and they have a part to play, but the issue is that their part grew the more I wrote and I’m having trouble unifying who I wanted them to be versus who they ultimately became. Their arc became more convoluted and the fix took me out to such an extreme that they became a cliché instead of a complicated character. Fixing it has plagued me for a long time.

I’m sure a lot of rewriting is in my future, and I’m okay with that. I’m confident that I have a strong story, minor problems notwithstanding. It’s just going to take more work than I originally planned on dedicating to this project. Also, and I can’t stress this enough, I’m going to have to figure out how the hell to fix it. I guess I could simply give up, but I feel giving up isn’t truly an option.