Sunday, July 17, 2011

Finding my way to the end

I've been working on a new book...Okay, that's a lie. I've been trying to work on a new book, but so far in the last month I've done, like, seven pages. It's frustrating as hell. I know where this story is supposed to go. I know where this plot is supposed to lead these characters. I can see it. I can feel the creativeness building inside me every time I think about it. I'm excited to lead another couple on an (hopefully) unforgettable journey. The problem? It's all bogus.

I don't use outlines to write. I'm not organized like that, nor am I naive enough to believe that the story is going to turn out the way I want. I could write an outline right now about the plot I envision, and yet I know that as soon as fingers meet keyboard that outline is worthless. My characters are going to do whatever they feel like  and really I'm the one on the unforgettable journey. They are going to tell me the plot. My characters are the story tellers, I'm simply the writer.

But that doesn't mean that I don't imagine how I want it all to turn out. Right now, I can easily picture writing the middle. I can see it playing out behind my eyelids. Same with the ending. I can't get there though. I can't get passed the beginning. I'm stuck. Writer's block is an evil thing.

Do I write the  middle the way I want? Do I end the story without knowing how these two characters come together in the first place? Do I do it the way I want and just hope it all fits together nicely in the end? Or do I suffer it out, writing one sentence at a time only to go back and delete every single word over and over again?

Finding my way to the end depends on my characters. How do I find the end when there's no beginning?

Friday, July 01, 2011

To "cheat" or not to "cheat"? That is the question.

As I was reading through comments on an old fanfic I wrote a year ago, I started wondering if I could somehow take the piece of work I did and turn it into an original fiction. The fic has had lots of positive feedback from readers, but maybe that's just because it's in the fandom world. Is it good enough to stand alone?

Apparently, I've decided to see if it is or not. I've started working through it again, fixing it up, changing names, characters, places, basically erasing anything that made it a fanfic to begin with and turning it into my own. But as I'm doing this I'm thinking two things: 1) how this  may turn out to be a bigger pain in the ass than I originally thought by having to go back and basically redo it all and 2) that I feel guilty.

The guilt comes because of this. Even though this is my own work, I did create the story and I did spend the countless hours it took making a plot and making it work and receiving all the amazing feedback I have from it, it still doesn't feel like mine. I took characters that already existed from another book and just made them do naughty (but very nice) things. I know several authors who have made their fanfic their own original for publication, but for some reason, I feel like I'm cheating if I do this.

These aren't my own characters, I've just used and abused them. Even if I do change their names, in the end they're still not going to be someone I created solely. The plot is mine, but I own nothing else. Is it even right?

To "cheat", or not to "cheat"? That is the question. Now I need the answer.


P.S. The answer was to NOT do it. I came to the conclusion redoing fanfic into something of my own just isn't my thing :)

Sleep is for the weak

That's what I tell myself (almost) every night as I stay up way too late knowing that in a few short hours I will have two warm little bodies crawling into my bed, prying my eyes open -literally!- and telling me it's time to wake up.

Take right now for is 1:26 am. I should be sleeping, yet I have a thousand thoughts going through my mind and I know, I just know, as soon as I shut off all my lights, crawl into bed and my head hits the pillow a conversation between my new characters will take place. They have the worst timing to come out and play. I'll lay there, listening to them whisper in my ear their plans to take over my new book, taking it in a totally different direction than what I originally planned, and yet, I'll like what they're saying. I won't like that they tell me this at 2 am when I've tucked away my laptop for the night and am too lazy to boot it back up. I also won't like that in the morning I won't remember a damn thing that was said.

If all the good ideas come to you at night, then why not write them down? you might ask. Good idea! Except if I'm too lazy to boot up a computer, you can bet I'm definitely too lazy to put pen to paper. I suppose I hope that it will just magically stick to my memory, waiting until the first rays of morning light are burned into my irises thanks to two eager children. Unfortunately, the plot that was so quickly created while my eyes were drifting closed is just as quickly forgotten when dirty dreams take over my imagination and boot the characters out of my head. And my bed.

But that's a different post all together...