It’s actually really fun and the best part is you have the power to absolve yourself. But, just in case you’re like me and you don’t believe that you have that power…
No, it’s not from me. It’s from my writing coach who gave me the gifts of Fixing Shit and Letting Shit Go. My literary sins are many and those are just the two major sin genuses she’s taught me how to deal with recently. Grab your bug spray because it’s time for you to learn too.
I want everyone reading this to know that it’s OK to change your mind, to try again, to revamp and redo and throw things out the window, as long as you don’t hit any other writers. Well, if they’re your nemesis, then hurl away, but in general writers do not enjoy getting beaned with anything not of their own creation.
I had a lot of pure, unadulterated stuff from my extended tenure writing to keep from writing. The phenomenon is very real. In my case, I have about a million words to prove just how real it is. Now, some of these words may end up being part of the story I was avoiding telling for more than four years and am now determined to write, but if they don’t, I’m not going to worry about them. They were never a waste. I learned a lot from them, some good things and some very, very not good things. Anyway, they brought me to where I am now.
I am indeed the person who could place minutiae about her character’s lives on a timeline, but who couldn’t answer basic questions about those character’s motivations. Honestly, the story in question started out as just for fun, something I meant to add maybe twelve installments to, but even looking at it that way, it still didn’t end up being what I wanted. I showed up meaning to bust out the giant robots and interpersonal drama, but everything came out too nice and small-seeming despite the enormity of the cast. Nice is much easier to write than a well-thought-out drama and it also happens to be appealing to comment-giving sorts, meaning nice is also the very fuel of plenty enough stories that end up not being stories at all due to a lack of conflict. Which isn’t to say I had no conflict overall, but dude, hitmen are probably not going to get along with each other all of the time. Can we agree on that? I think we can.
Kas had to make me worksheets just to get through the sheer amount of stuff I’ve accumulated over the years. I mean, I still tend to zoom out pretty far when I look at the universe of Jealous of Roses as a whole. Are there novels in there? Damn right there are, but I tend to look at the whole thing as one enormous story instead of several novels.
My sins do not preclude me from writing novels here or anywhere else I damnwell feel like cranking out. They just mean I have work to do. All writers do. In my case, a lot of what it’s come down to is stating what I want.
Kas and I have had the same conversation several times.
Me: I don’t like the thing.
Her: Then don’t do the thing.
Me: BUT THE THING.
Her: I ABSOLVE YOU YOU MAY DISCARD THE THING.
Me: I hear angels <<< literal quote.
That’s more or less the big picture on how I got to less squishy Siebenkäs, which is something I dearly wanted and had been writing through, rather than correcting, for years. That’s how I’m getting my robots back and Zephyr is no longer a backhand to a thing from a fanon that stopped being active years ago.
OK, maybe I’m still a little angry about the fanon thing. But, you know what else? I’ve learned that character building is an adventure. And that, that I’m delighted out. So! More on that next time. In the meantime, I do highly recommend Kas as a writing coach, so check her out.