Tuesday, November 26, 2013

15,000 words in only 10 years

In my spare time (I didn't know I had any) I've been writing a book. I've been writing this book since May of 2003, which is when my mother died. The book would be huge (and done) if I'd actually been writing all this time, but truth be told, I haven't written more than 500 words of it in the ten years between then and now.

The book is not really about my mother at all, but about relationships with parents that aren't 'there' for one reason or another. Some parents die, some parents leave, some parents were never really there, or present in a child's life, to begin with; these are some of the issues that I wanted to explore, and still do. It is not autobiographical, and just to pretend that I can prove that, I'll share with you that it's from the point of view of a twenty-something girl; the only child of a now single father, who's wife died ten years ago. Her name is Kate.

There are writers who are overcome by their writing, to the point where the story writes itself. I'm not that writer. With me, my characters seem to write themselves, and it really screws with my plans for them. I love to write these scenes, wherever they go, and for ten years they have been very cathartic. Still, I'm often left with words and scenes without a home, given the actual story.

As of yesterday, I hit 15,000 words on Kate's story, and 95% of this was done in 2013. That's a long time for just over 14,000 words. That's too long, but I was repeatedly struggling with the idea that this isn't a story to publish, so why write something only I will read? When that's the mindset, it's far too easy to push things to the back burner in favor of other work.

Catharsis led me to writing this story, and I think it's going to be more cathartic to finish it, edit it, put a cover on it, and publish it, even if it's far from my ideal first fiction story. It's not like a have a long list of chick lit or 'new adult' stories that I need to get out of my brain... (That's a lie, I do have a long list.)

Still, in my ideal world, my science fiction serial world come first, or maybe my own telling of Tristan and Isolde. I have too many ideas, and when I hit a snag with Kate, I spend time outlining one of them; each my perfect first book. Then, the next day, it's always back to the story that I have to write for my own good, and Kate's too, I suppose.

Ok, back at it. 15,001, 15,0002, 15,0003...

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