I have a long weekend, so I’ve taken it upon myself to rewrite a novella I wrote last October. That was the weekend some of you remember when I decided I was going to write a 100 page novella in 100 hours. (That’s 100 hours straight, counting time for note-taking, eating, walking the dog, pulling out my hair, shoving it back in the follicles because I really can’t afford to lose more, coping with the sudden ability to smell colours, and all of the other wonderful things that accompany the task of writing 25,000 words in a four-day weekend. Yes, of course I’m thinking of doing this again. Why do you ask?) It’s been hanging around since then, mocking me with its two well-rounded characters and a bunch of paper dolls, an awesome and explosive beginning, a weak and arbitrary ending, taunting me with the fact that I know how to fix it, now, and could actually fix it, if I, you know, sat down to write the bloody thing. So, this weekend, I decided I was going to buckle down and get as close to a final draft as I could on this damn thing so I could either submit it for publication or do something to free it into the wide, wide world, because it sure needs to get out of my head.
Alright, in other words I just spent ten minutes taking a break from writing so I could write about how hard writing is. Yes, I’m definitely in the colour-smelling stage of my word-induced insanity. In fact, I’m considering naming them. This shirt I’m wearing is a lovely shade of Bob, which smells like anxiety and imagination.
On the bright side, I have nearly three of ten chapters written and rewritten. I had to go back and rewrite a few sections, but I feel like this story young Ms Agata (a teenage girl on a wagon train through a rural medieval country, along with her Uncle, her foster cousin, and a few friends) is finally coming together. Because that’s what rewriting is. My Muse runs up from her basement study with a handful of papers and says, ‘CJ! You HAVE to listen to this!!!’ And I do, writing down everything she says for posterity. But she’s a storyteller, not a writer. And much like how your Mom edits your Dad’s stories (or vice-versa) so people who weren’t there can actually understand them, I have to go through and write out a new version of things, a translation, if you will, for those of you who don’t live in my head. And if I can tell this story in such a way that it resonates with something you yourself think about, I’ve done my job.
See? I came here to talk about how writing sucks, and I convinced myself otherwise. Yay editorializing.
Y’all have an awesome weekend. Wish me luck. And yes, there will be a new story on Thursday.
3 thoughts on “Writing is ReReReReReReWriting: An Agony”
Now that was entertaining!
I’d love to read Agata’s story! Glad to found this site. Lots to learn from you. Keep writing more!
I just prepped the first three (of ten) chapters for a submission and I’m working on the remaining seven. There’s also at least one sequel… I don’t want to write a series per se, but I love the idea of related stories. If the novella doesn’t get picked up I will most likely self-publish, but we’ll attack that bridge when we get to it.
Thanks for following the blog! I love getting feedback from voices other than the ones that sit around with my Muse and make me tell stories.