Saturday, March 17, 2012

Writing is for masochists

There wasn't a day in the past three months I didn't feel like banging my head against the wall. Hard. If you saw me complaining and whining on Facebook or Twitter, you can now click the top right corner: it's the dreaded thriller again.
For weeks I'd not come up with a decent plot line. My first idea was to have a book in a book; a character writing about it all which would have been revealed in the end, but my friend smashed it immediately saying, nope, I hate that. And I see where she's coming from. It's like the whole book being a dream. Not good. It caused me a lot of grief, because I couldn't come up with anything realistic, believable, something which would be a smooth outline or suspenseful which has the reader turning the pages. As with my short fiction, I like to keep a surprise for the end. I must admit, this was a tough one. I'm not normally a plotter, but for this book, I started with the torture scenes first, then with some other scenes and I had to think of a way to combine them to make a story. When I couldn't come up with anything decent, I was ready to give up. To me it's important that the story is neat, that I can make the reader believe it could happen, that the it's real. The editor in me is always looking over my shoulder, slapping me if I try to venture off the roads.
It's the first time I really struggle with a book and I even questioned myself: Am I really a writer. To me the answer is no. Or maybe yes, but perhaps I'm not so much a story teller. One of those who bursts with stories. I don't. Though I certainly have quite a few more stories to tell, it's not like I can't write fast enough to get them all out. But then, is it important? I write stories people enjoy, that's what writing is all about. At least to me, it is.
I love a challenge, but wondered if this one isn't a bit too much for me. People kept telling me they believed in my talent and that I will finally find a solution, but I started to get more and more frustrated. My perfectionism being a bully. So much, that I almost decided to give up on that book and continue with the next one I have in the queue. Funnily though, I quit a lot of things in my life, but when it comes to writing, I'm rather determined. And it paid off. I finally made it, I have a plot I'm happy with and will continue to write. Hope it's all worth it, but that's for the readers to decide when the book's finished.

To all of you who let me whinge and howl, thank you for your encouragement. You know who you are.

In the meantime, I've also continued to write on the second book of funny shorts, stay tuned. :-)

Happy weekend, everyone.

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