Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Last night I was plagued by guilt and regret over something left behind, something abandoned over three years ago when my marriage started over shadowing all other pursuits. I lay in bed, trying to sleep, going over all the mistakes, all the things that had gone wrong, and all the other reasons I never finished writing that particular novel.

I start stories all the time, but I finish maybe one in ten (if that), but this particular story had grown to almost 300 hand written pages (with my handwriting that equals about 200 type written pages) before it was set aside in a box of manuscripts to suffer three years of neglect. I'd even typed up the first few chapters (57 pages type written). . . and last night, unable to rest, I found the file on my laptop and started reading. I forced myself to stop around midnight, but now I'm determined to start again. I know where I went wrong. I always make the mistake of letting my characters get married too early in the story and then they want to settle down and stop doing exciting things that keep the plot going. After all, who wouldn't rather go on a honeymoon than return to the castle of the evil king to challenge the dark forces attempting to overrun his homeland?

Jonas, my main character, certainly didn't want to go back to the castle (especially since his new bride was supposed to be the bride of the king's son. He married her after their daring escape.). Oh, he had reasons to go back. There was destiny involved, and evil bad guys in black capes and hoods (you know anyone in a black cape is bad news.), and I planned to burn down his hideout in order to force them out of hiding, but at that point I just wasn't buying the storyline any more. I abandoned the story and started writing “The Invisible Princess,” a shorter, less dramatic work that I did finish, and am still proud of despite several very rough patches in the narrative. Then I got married and basically stopped writing. I have had very few projects since then that got over the first few paragraphs and the two that did ran into plot holes even larger than Jonas's unwillingness to return to danger post wedding. Well, the story about the young man pursuing a fugitive who happened to be his own father ran into a plot hole. The story about a prince who has to go on a series of quests to save his father from supernatural forces in an Egyptian style kingdom ran into bad writing. I still think the plot works. I just wasn't happy with the way I was conveying the ideas.

But Jonas's whole issue was that I went about twenty pages allowing him to be perfectly happy simply because I got sucked into the love story, which was very appealing. Maybe it just wasn't the story to write while desperately missing my (then) boyfriend. After all, if I had to be half a world away from the man I loved, at least I could write about two lovers who weren't spending the summer on different continents. Now that I have my guy handy, there is no more need to live vicariously through Jonas and Lady Brynn, so I can make them as miserable as I want. Mu ha ha ha! Oh the power . . . Nah, I still like writing kissy scenes too much.

Either way, I think I can make something of this story. I need to just force myself to write again. It's been too long.

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