Monday, February 7, 2011

Well, Put A Nail In That Coffin

Remember that short story I said I was rewriting? The one that I had to put my novel on hold in order to work on? Well, uh, yeah . . . that ain't going to be happening now.

I've tried and tried, folks. But unfortunately I cannot seem to get this piece to where I want it to be. I've been banging my head against the keyboard for the past six weeks or so, writing not just one, not two -- but THREE different rewrite drafts! Sure, each one was getting closer and closer toward greatness . . . but then I suddenly hit a brick wall over the weekend and I realized that I was no longer all that interested in the telling of this particular tale anymore.

Oh well, that's the breaks kid. Part of my journey of learning to be a writer means knowing when to give up and move on. To be sure, I've not completely abandoned the story. All my notes and outlines, not to mention my numerous drafts, have been gathered and placed in the "INCOMPLETE" folder I keep for just such an occasion. And at some point in the future I may just pick up where I left off and try again. Sometimes this happens, where I need an appreciable amount of time in order to slowly chew on the matter before I can see it again with new eyes.

But in the meantime, I should be getting back to the novel, right? Yes, surely this would be the sensible thing to do.

However . . .

There is a fresh, brand new story I've been wanting to write since . . . well, since approx. six weeks ago! Yes, yes, looking back at it now I probably should have attempted this first. Thing is, the rough draft of the now shelved story had already been written, and I had received such wonderful feedback on how to make it better back in early December. All logic at the time pointed to me rewriting this already written, but problematic, project before tackling a brand new one. And yet, I don't think my heart was ever in it. I think what I really wanted to be doing was writing this new story.

Perhaps this is what ended up dooming the rewrite, yes? Perhaps.

In any event, I think I'll just give in to my heart and write this brand new tale. It's a very dark and dystopian type story, with themes I've never tackled before. It should also be very short, if I'm judging the whole thing correctly. I'm guessing now that it will be somewhere in the 4k to 5k range. God, I hope I can keep to this range! Right now I see no reason to write it longer. So if it does end up going way over the 5k mark, this means something went terribly wrong between the initial plotting in my head and the actual writing on paper.

I do still have the novel a lot on my mind. So don't think I've cooled on that project, either. You have my word that I will resume work on that just as soon as the rough draft of this new short is completed.

In the meantime, wish me luck.

4 comments:

Yvonne said...

I think it's best for you to step away from that story and leave it alone for awhile. That's what I do when that happens to me. Then return and start again, you might surprise yourself.

David Batista said...

Thanks, Yvonne! Wise words which I shall adhere to.

I do have a feeling that I'll be able to salvage the story once I put it out of mind for a few months and can come back to it anew.

Botanist said...

One thing I've always felt about art, in whatever form, is that my heart has to be in it if I want results. Sounds like you came to a valuable realisation. Good luck!

David Batista said...

Yes, Ian, I did learn this lesson. But I had hoped my mind would have won over in this endeavor. :)

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