Friday, September 10, 2010
The First Final Stage
WOW! I have finally managed to do something that has been eluding me for the past year and a half…at least. Tonight I put the finishing touches on a story I have been working on for over two years now. Of course we're only talking first draft here, but still it's quite an accomplishment for me, especially lately. Unfortunately due to my life circumstances I have not been able to devote the amount of time I would like to my writing and I have stories that are suffering and being ignored because of it. Over the last couple of days however I have found it damn near irresistible. I just had to finish this story! I've had stories and characters screaming in my head before but this was like an absolute takeover of my mind. I slept even less than normal at night and I could barely concentrate on my studies. BUT the good thing is, it's done!
This particular story, Immortal, has been one of my favorites to write even though it's been a very long process for me. Generally when I start on a story I can pound it out within a few months. This one was not so easy to complete. Because of my now non-existent work schedule, school, and other personal issues I didn't have the time to sit and write this story the way I wanted to. I always carry my notebook around with me in my purse so I was at least able to jot down ideas and dialogue when they came to me. I was so excited when I finally got to sit down at my computer and type it all out into the file I had started so long ago. What really surprised me was that I remembered every detail of what I was thinking at the time I wrote each particular note. This never happens for me. Usually I write a note and have to add a lot of detail to it so that I make sure I get it right in the story, but with Immortal I didn't have to do that. I had a few notes in the book that were just one or two words here and there and I managed to remember exactly what I was thinking and why I wrote it down. So with all of this I was able to finish up the last few chapters of the book.
Now comes the hard part. Self-editing. Just the thought of it makes me cringe. As I've stated a million times before this is not something that I am very good at. I don't edit my writing; I butcher it and murder it until there's nothing left but the main concept of the story with a few good scenes or dialogue I can't bring myself to get rid of. I have vowed however that this time it will not happen the way it always has in the past. In the very little spare time I had while I was working I was able to do some research and get some tips on how to be a better self-editor. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one that struggles with this and the tips I did get were extremely helpful…so far at least. I started the editing process earlier this evening and think I'll be going back to it here shortly. I think the reason I'm trying so hard this time is that this particular story is one that I really, really want to get out there. This one I have more confidence in and am more comfortable sending it off to betas and my friends/editors for corrections, suggestions, and advice. Baby steps, right? The first time I subbed a story I about cried when I read the feedback for it. But it was good feedback, even if some of it was a little harsh, such is the nature of the writing beast. Once I went back and read the story with all of the suggestions given to me in mind I realized that for the most part they were right. The story wasn't good enough, not nearly good enough. But that was ok. I didn't expect it to be perfect anyway so I made the adjustments where I needed to. Unfortunately that story has gone nowhere since. But that's because that story is in the M/T/S genre and I'm more of a Fantasy girl so I wasn't really feeling it. Maybe there will come a time when I can go back to it, actually better than maybe since I already have the idea for a sequel in mind, but for now I'm just sticking to my Fantasy writing because that I know I can do better than M/T/S.
So anyway, Immortal is wrapped around the prophecy made about Makayla (my favorite witch ever!) centuries before she was born. Very powerful, destined to be the best, blah blah blah, you get the picture. Sounds like a million other Fantasy stories you've read huh? That's what I thought too when I started it, not that it really mattered to me. I get an idea in my head and I'm far too obsessive not to see it through to the end. The things that I love the most about the story are the twists and turns and little things here and there you are not expecting to happen. Like the types of friends that Makayla associates with, one of which is a very powerful demon that nevertheless assists Makayla every chance she gets. And the "villain" that she is "destined to destroy" is not who you expect him to be. That particular twist happens to be my favorite one, though it doesn't come until the very end of the story. Anywho, the problem she runs into throughout the story is trying to find out how to destroy this particular villain without also killing herself in the process. Without giving too much of the story away they have fought in the past and both have been injured severely, mentally and physically. With the help of her teacher/mentor/secret lover Samuel, Makayla finally finds a way to destroy the one being on earth that can kill her. Will she actually go through with it is the question…