It’s that time again, the first Wednesday of the Month
“Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.”
March 1 Question: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?
I have thought about it-pulling out an old piece and reworking it. Something always comes up; a new idea or project and I move forward not looking back. I have to admit- I have a piece I have been working on forever.
(In my head I hear “forever” sounding like a teen trying to get out of washing their clothes.. Do I have to! ! Double exclamation point with an extra dangling whine. )
I have a lot of unfinished pieces. For one reason or another I just can’t find their endings. Those never really get done. I can’t seem to get close to the mid-point. Once I hit that rising action all my characters start falling off Freytag’s pyramid. I find that simple line isn’t enough to hold them, they start dangling by their toes….then the whole thing gets pushed back in its folder, stuffed in the back of a drawer or hidden between the pages of a book on writing.
I was told once, that I wrote too fast… and to slow up so I could think about what I was writing. That was the worst advice to give to anyone. Writing and getting that story out is the most important part- at least for me- once I have my thoughts on paper, then the real writing and rewriting starts. But, it has to be on paper. Not in my head! Not swimming in a fog of ideas, for once that fog clears, I can end up with ‘nothing’. Pooof!
I have been reading Stephen King’s, The Dark Tower series. In the introduction for the first book, The Gunslinger, King tells how long and to what extent, he had been working on this book and how he got the idea in the first place. He read J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in 1966-67, which sparked his wanting to write his “own kind of story.”
Stephen King said, that when he writes, “his method of attack” is to “plunge in and go a fast as I can” and “…keeping the edge of my narrative blade as sharp as possible by constant use, and trying to outrun the novelist’s most insidious enemy, which is doubt. Looking back prompts too many questions: How believable are my characters? How interesting is my story? How good is this, really? Will anyone care? Do I care myself?”
Then he goes on to say: “I put it away, warts and all, to mellow. Some period of time later six months, a year, two years,…” Then adding, “…I come back to it with a cooler (but still loving) eye, and begin the task of revising.”
So pulling out old stories and reworking them is on my list for 2017. Time can only sharpen my eyes, and my ability to tell that story with a slightly different twist.