Writing is hard. Very hard. Today, the challenge is finding the time.
When this book was started however, time was like air; I had more than I could ever need. But, I needed that time, since I write (and later, typed) very slow. Painfully slow. I would often struggle with getting the idea on the page as fast as it was conceived, only to realize I’ve only typed two paragraphs of the chapter my mind had written. I typed PAINFULLY SLOW.
But, I had time.
After all, This novel was never supposed to be. It started as a class assignment; short story of a certain length, in words. I’m sure you would like to know how many–I would. But, I can’t remember (that doesn’t surprise me). I do know the forward of my book is actually a lengthening of this story.
Interesting part is that the novel developed separately. I was working on a story for a graphic novel (this one was quite terrible, as I recall), and figured I would compose a storyline for the characters. These characters were mostly people I knew. Actually, they were the people I knew. Some were at one point actually named for them. Thus, when they read about themselves, some actually liked it! They wanted to see more. So, I wrote more, till I had what would form the foundation of this novel. It would take an investment of time that I could gladly make.
After all, I had time.
At this point, I would qualify my efforts by stating most of what was written at this point was bad, from what I can remember. About 7 chapters of my novel were on 24 pages of a composition book, and the last time I remember seeing it, its most endearing quality was being succinct. I realized that if you weren’t in this book, you probably wouldn’t read it, because the characters had the depth of cardboard, the dynamism of a octogenarian turtle, and the narrative prose of a tickled five year old. I felt a revision may be needed.
It was okay; I still had time.
So, I started again, taking my former ‘novel’ (now relegated to a mere ‘outline’) and turned it into a novella. With more time, the story began to take shape, more details emerged, and I was now typing fast enough to record most of them. The story took on a life of its own, the characters began to move through their space to discover the world I had created.
But, all good things must come to an end. Or, a pause, in this case. I realized as I neared the end of the book, I had written myself into a corner. The characters had all reached an impasse, and the last sentence I wrote for a time was basically a plea for direction. We were all lost in my story together, my characters looking to me for direction. And, I didn’t know what to do.
Worst of all: no more time.
Writers’ block was new for me. In the course of writing, I never found anything insurmountable in written form. But life had bled into my writing, and where I had some challenges in life (what do you mean, I need a job!? Whatever for!?), you must find a way to surmount the insurmountable. I set the book aside, to care for other matters briefly, and then return.
And indeed, my chance to complete my masterpiece came, so I looked to delve heartily into this book.
Wait, where did I put my book?
Thanks for coming by! Next time, I’ll touch on the one thing worse than writers’ block: losing your only copy of the manuscript.
(12-27-2017) — If you enjoyed this post, please like and share! You can follow on Facebook, read excerpts from The Silent Invader @RB_Thurman (and follow!), in addition to the chapters I add here. Also, sign up on my contact page, and receive notifications for when the next blog arrives.