Thursday, January 19, 2012

A New Beginning

It's been quite some time since I shared with you where I'm standing at in my career as a writer, but I'm here to change that. For a little over a year, I've been very focused on writing short stories. My idea was to gain knowledge of how the industry works, and of my own creative process before tackling the mammoth task of wringing a novel.

Up to two weeks ago, I felt my efforts had given very few results and, given my very hectic, unpredictable life, I hadn't really accomplished much. I refused to start writing a new novel or revisit my research for my first project because of this, and I felt very disillusioned. But upon further analysis I came to realize that through all this time I've been writing many stories that I've posted in here, more than ten, that is. I just use this blog to let my thoughts flow and didn't consider it like 'writing' though it is!

So, with this in mind, I've decided to polish up each and everyone of the stories I've shared with you and then try to find a proper home for them. In the mean time, I'm already submitting FEAST DAY and I'll take the jump, trying to follow my heart into a new story that could be my first Mystery/Suspense, and maybe, my pass to get into the big leagues. A girl can dream, right?

This is how it happened. My husband was recently transferred to Connecticut from Montreal and we've been driving up and down for almost a month, now. It's a six hours drive that feels like a hundred. My husband is the one that drives, so the girls play in the back, draw, watch movies, and fight. You know, just generally annoy us the whole time. For me, I love to spin stories in my mind while watching through the window, observing the landscape and trying to imagine how people live in those pretty, and not so pretty, houses that line the highway.

During our most recent trip, and hopefully the last one, we took a different route and wound up in a very solitary road. Most houses were quite far one from the other and surrounded by heavily wooded areas. From our spot on the road, I saw a small cemetery plot with just four markers. The tombstones were very old, clear by the greenish tones of the stone and by the fact that none of them stood straight, but inclined in every which way. The plot was fenced with a black iron rod, the kind you see in the museums to stop people from getting too close to the art, and across a few yards from it stood a classic English colonial house.

It just hit me. An idea so strong and clear it can only be called a vision filled my mind. I had to get it on paper, so right there and then, I grabbed my handy dandy iPad and stroked with passion. Blessed be the person who created the Pages app.

This time, the creative juices are flowing in a different way, though. I usually start with a final scene clear in my mind and work my way back to the beginning. With this story, I have a clear understanding of the characters, the main story, and the back story, but that's it. That was ok when I began pounding the keyboard because I was thinking about a short story, but there's so much more I can tell, so many places it could go; I feel compelled to make it a novel.

I think it is time for me to move forward, to a territory where I don't feel as comfortable and it's kinda scary, to be truthful. I'm worried and nervous, not knowing which is the best approach, and riddled of self-doubt.

I know I will succeed and I know this can be a great novel. I just have to find the courage to begin.


Georgia Saunders said...

You go girl! Self-doubt is a common emotion among writers. Don't let it keep you from putting it all down there, then get a GOOD editor to help you polish it up. You're gonna make it!

Sheryl Steines said...

You have to go with it. That happened with my 2nd book. I put away 25 chapters of a book, because this idea overtook me and wouldn't die. It had to be written. I still have 25 chapters of the other one and I will get to it, but sometimes you have to write what wants to be written. Best of luck to you.

Gina said...

Thanks Georgia, I do have an awesome editor. You bet I'll try my damn best.

Sheryl, it's such a relieve to think I'm not the only one with visions! I was worried someone might want to lock me in the looney bin. I just hope I'm not disturbing some unspoken law of creativeness by attacking this without a clear plan... I don't want to be stuck in the middle of a mess without heads or tails. Thanks for sharing your story with me.