Wednesday, December 3, 2014

About Learning and Moving Forward.

To those new to the support group, welcome to the most awesome party on the net! To the old timers, I hope you are closing the year with an upbeat spirit! This group is meant to offer a place to vent your insecurities and help heal other writer's insecurities and that's great. Let's all thank Captain Ninja Alex Cavanaugh for creating the group and keeping it together. How? Well, go visit his site and all other participating blogs!

I don't know about you, but November just flew and I didn't even notice. I hope those of you who participated in NaNoWriMo feel accomplished; in one sense of another you all are winners. Such a tough challenge! Though I did not join the NaNo train, I did set my own challenge for myself: Finish my novel before Christmas. Many of you pointed out that 3000 words a day as a goal was a bit ambitious. And you were right! Believe it or not, there was a moment in my life not too far ago when I could churn up 3K/day no prob. Sadly, I'm not there now. Yet.

How's the project going? Fffine... I guess??? 

Here's the deal: I write short stories ALL of the time. To me, short stories are easy. When I conceptualize one, I see it almost like a cube that I can rotate in my mind to see where it came from, where it's going, and how many events are in between those points. Novels, on the other hand, are harder for me to picture. I can't see the whole of the story, therefore, I have a really hard time going from one event to the other without knowing my destination. Sorry, just not the way my mind works. To complicate things even more, too much time has passed since I came up with the idea of this book. 

At this point, I'm not even sure what was it that I set out to write. Sometimes I feel like I just lost the story somewhere last year. But despite these set backs, I've been writing constantly. The first week of the project I barely managed a hundred words a day. Last Friday I did the happy dance with about 1500 words for the week. No where near the goal, but I'm moving forward. Writing these days is frustrating, annoying, baffling, and encouraging all at the same time. 

But I'm moving forward. 

Why do I keep putting myself through this when I could be much happier writing short stories, you ask? Well, first, because I'm too damn hardheaded to allow a set of stupid characters I made up win the battle. But more importantly, because I'm learning. I'm developing my own way to write a novel and when the next idea for a long story comes, it'll be easier. 

I'm pretty sure Deliverance will be unpublishable even after extensive rewrites and editions (but who knows, right? A writer's gotta dream), however, it'll have served a purpose. Stopping right now and letting it go is to admit defeat. It'd mean that all those moths I dedicated to this project were a waste. But learning is never a waste, so I'm choosing to see this through the end.

It'll clearly take longer than until Christmas, though. *Hangs head in exhaustion*

On the happy news front: (Just to end up upbeat) I managed to write a short story and submit it to the DoubleDay/Bloomhouse contest. Wish me luck!!

To you all, I wish a happy season full of satisfactions and love. See you on 2015!!

17 comments:

Lori L MacLaughlin said...

I admire your ability to write short stories. Any short story idea I ever had always worked itself into a full blown novel. All I can say is keep at it and don't give up. Your novel will emerge when it's ready. Good luck with it!

Michelle Wallace said...

I can empathise.
I love my flash fiction and always say that I'm 'wired' for short pieces.
But I'm also busy with a novella/novelette...we'll see what it turns out to be.
Good luck. To us both. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Happy IWSG day!

Sarah Ahiers said...

I can pump out a short story without any notes, but i can't write a novel without at least a list of scenes. That way i can use it like a roadmap, of where i'm going and what needs to happen before i get to the end

Patricia Lynne said...

Good luck with your submission! And with the novel. Even if you don't publish it, you'll have learned a lot and that's important too. =)

Leandra Wallace said...

Best of luck to you! I hate when writing is super tough like that. Sometimes it's just what we gotta go through to get to the end. And you'll get there!

Lexa Cain said...

It is more satisfying to write short stories because revising and finishing is so much quicker. It's like the difference between painting a room in your house and painting the Eiffel Tower. Novels are exhausting, but you have the right idea - if you don't keep trying, you can't get better. Don't feel bad that something takes longer than you thought. You can't hurry perfection! :)

Stephanie Faris said...

My mom has that same issue--she loves writing short stories, but novels are harder. I think we each have our own writing niche. I loved writing short stories--back in the 90s, I wrote for True Story and all of those magazines (I think they've since shut down) and there was something VERY gratifying about being able to start and finish within a short timeframe.

Georgina Morales said...

Thanks to all for your encouraging words! I do believe our minds are set to work better in a specific setting, Lori, but practice makes perfect, right? LOL

Michelle, I'm sure you'll do great. You've a dedicated writer and that's half the way. ;-)

Sarah: Exactly!! I'm so glad I'm not the only crazy who needs to see the path before walking!

Patricia: That's the goal at this point, to learn as much as I can and be happy with it. Let's see how it goes now. =)

Leandra: You're right in that writing is always tough and easy at irregular periods. If you go through the tough, the easy feel even more rewarding. Thanks for stopping by!

Lexa: LOL Thanks. I guess you can't call yourself a writer until you've hated the idea of writing, but still kept at it, right? We all must endure, the reward will eventually come. ;-)

Stephanie: It truly is rewarding to see a project from beginning to end in a relatively short period of time! I guess kids are not the only one that crave immediate gratification! LOL

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Chuck Wendig recently wrote a post that you might find helpful or encouraging, if you haven't already read it:

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/11/26/why-its-important-to-finish-your-shit/comment-page-1/

Finishing your novel is so important! I'm glad you're going to stick with it, even when it's difficult. Persevering through difficult things doesn't kill us...it only makes us stronger.

Good luck, and all the best in 2015!

dolorah said...

At least you are writing, and submitting. Way to Go. I like writing short stories too, they just come together easier for me. I'll be working on my novels forever though.

Good luck with the submission.

Diane Burton said...

I find writing short stories very difficult. I just wrote my 2nd short (since high school) for a blog anthology. I didn't have enough room for everything I wanted to say. LOL I guess that's why my books are 90-100k. Congrats on keeping on keeping on. Write what you love.

Lucinda W. said...

That's a great attitude, to see it to the end.
The novel I'm working on to be published next year was my NaNo project 2 years ago.

C.S.H said...

Oh how I long to be published someday.. and I have the perfect vision.. but I can never seem to finish one complete novel.. it's so sad! But yes, a writer can dream and a writer HAS to dream or else it's no use.

Crystal Collier said...

I've heard that you should write each of your chapters in short-story form, with a concise beginning, middle and ending, but leaving a question or driving need at the end of each. If short stories are your forte, I think plotting out a novel while keeping that it mind might be an effective way to go. (I totally can't do NaNo, so huge congrats for taking it on.)

SittieCates said...

Moving forward... good attitude! Right. Lots of luck to you! Hope 2015 started really well for you.

Joss said...

Well first of all good luck with you short story submission. Secondly, good on you for not giving up on your Novel. I am the opposite way around I can form a plot for a novel no problem but cannot get my head around short stories. Sometimes I wish I could though, it would be nice to be able to get some stuff out in-between novels. Happy 2015 I hope its a good one.

Georgina Morales said...

Thanks all for chiming in and sharing your own stories. It feels so good to be in the company of people who care and share their own ups and downs. I've always known that what comes easy for me might come harder for others, but reading it here really makes a difference today. You're awesome. ;-)