Now scream and freak out

Ok, I think what I need at this point is a new goal. If anything, to make sure I don’t give into despair and delete this manuscript, which, I should say, seems to be screwing with my brain. Every time I work on it I feel as if the characters are all looking at me from the page, saying “Are you joking? Are you seriously suggesting I do this? What’s wrong with you?”

I should probably elaborate on what the issue is (trust me, I’m not giving this story away). I’m sure other writers experience the same problems. If they don’t, well, here’s one more thing to keep them up at night.

I sort of know the story I’m writing. Sort of. I was hoping it would become one of those things that develops as you go along – kind of like a relationship with someone you don’t really know well enough yet. Every turn, every twist, is infused with the excitement of it being “a first”. And you think to yourself, “This is brilliant! I am so proud of myself!”

That said, I feel it is safe to say that my story is treating me like I’m a one-night stand. We have a couple of exciting days together, and then I keep waiting for more to happen. It doesn’t. I’m angry and frustrated like a woman scorned. Minus the phone which simply refuses to ring.

What I do know is this: the story is different from what you’ve read before. And in addition to it being an unusual story, I also want to it to be told in “my” voice. Think Zadie Smith and White Teeth. That’s a story. That’s a voice. I know I probably shouldn’t use her as a benchmark, but keep feeling I’m just an idiot with a dictionary on my lap when I look at that kind of beautiful writing.

In light of all of this, I’ll start small. And by small I mean I wish to reach 15,000 words by the end of this weekend. Deep, soothing breath. Don’t panic. This is still only your first draft.

Thank you for reading, and have a nice evening.

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4 comments on “Now scream and freak out

  1. cjcleach says:

    That actually made me smile…it’s good to know other people have the same feelings. I’m struggling with my own work right now, and I’m more than familiar with the idea that the story itself is losing patience with my inability to tell it. Small goals is the only way to handle it. Good luck with the 15,000 words. I’m hoping to crack 10,000 soon myself.

    • brightaylor says:

      Than you so much for your comment; I think it’s a bit of relief that other writers have the same frustrations. Here’s to good stories and having the patience to tell them! Good luck with your 10,000 words!

  2. Candice says:

    I can’t relate just yet, as the creative writing I’ve done since I was little is supposed to be max 1200 words each time I write, which is nothing compared to your goals! Just to throw a curve ball – and bare in mind I don’t have not been trained to write – maybe set a goal in scenes instead of number of words? Or perhaps set an outline of a scene or series of scenes, then do the word count goal. That way you can hop from one part of the story to the other if it’s not flowing, and to change it up a bit if you get stuck. Have fun!

    • brightaylor says:

      Hi there! Thank you so much for reading, and for your comment!
      I haven’t been trained to write either (I’m sure this is why sometimes it’s so difficult or frustrating), but the main reason why I have a number of words as a goal is because I’m learning by doing. I have an outline for how the story is going to go, but I want to develop “my own language” to tell it. I don’t have all the scenes figured out yet, but when I have the number of words in mind, I know I have to develop them and the existing characters.
      The problem with me is that I feel I’m too straightforward when I write a story, so when I just figure it all out and tell it, I find it mind-numbingly uninteresting and wind up hating it, printing it, throwing it in the bin, and repeatedly punching the desk.

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