As the people who follow me on Twitter and Facebook know, I am currently writing a story. A novel, if you will. It all sounds very simple, but I have found out that writing a longer story from beginning to end is a lot more difficult than I had thought it would be. This is the second novel that I finished (the first one won’t see the light of day) and I have certainly learned to appreciate the struggle of getting your thoughts on paper and it all making sense in the end.
I had been walking around with the idea for this story for quite a few years. I knew the characters, I knew their names and at times I had whole conversations with them in my head (I am not crazy I swear. Ok maybe a little bit). I started the story many times but I always abandoned the project, because I didn’t feel like I was a good enough writer or because some parts just didn’t make sense. This year I wanted to do things differently. So this year, I said to myself that I was going to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and finish the first draft of the story. I won NaNo and I was incredibly proud of myself and I was proud of parts of the story.
Writing that first draft
Everything they say about first drafts is true. They are shit. They do not show the full potential of a story. It is merely a way to get the storyline out on paper and to see what works and what doesn’t work. I for example noticed afterwards that my story is best told from a first-person perspective. So I’m changing that. I noticed that some characters and scenes need to be fleshed out more to make the story truly come alive. And I’ve learned that some scenes are unnecessary and need to be cut altogether.
But if I hadn’t written that first draft, I wouldn’t have known all that. I would still be struggling with the story in my head that has to come out one way or another. So yeah, I guess nobody chooses to be a writer. It is quite a harrowing and tedious experience. I guess you just are a writer and to deal with all the stuff going on in your head, you have to write it all down.
I am now working on my second draft. A lot needs to be rewritten and parts of the first draft make it in but need to be altered as well. I don’t mind doing it though, despite the fact that I am quite busy with work as well. I have never believed as much in a story as I believe in this one and I want to make it perfect. I’m at 11.140 words right now so I still have a long way to go.
I am not sharing the plot yet. I first need it to be perfect. But it will be a story which mixes magical realism with a little bit of fantasy (just not full on Lord of the Rings fantasy). It explores loss and love. Sexuality and revenge. It also explores what it is like when you do not choose to be a hero, but have to be anyway. Gosh that sounds so dramatic.
But whether this will ever get traditionally published or will remain an obscure text in the dark corners of the internet, I hope that I will be able to share it with you soon. And I hope that you will like it or that it will inspire you somehow. Because even if there is only one person who enjoys it, then that’s good enough for me.
So please continue to go on this journey with me and I will keep you updated via this site.