Wednesday, March 1, 2017

#IWSG The Tribulations of a Neurotic Writer! #WriterWednesday

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group
 
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.
Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.
http://www.alexjcavanaugh.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG
Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh's awesome co-hosts for the March 1 posting of the IWSG are Tamara Narayan, Patsy Collins, M.J. Fifield, and Nicohle Christopherson!

For the first two months of 2017, my life felt a bit out of whack. After writing the first draft of my next mystery novel during NaNoWriMo 2016, I turned to a project of publishing an anthology of mystery short stories set in Hawai'i by 17 authors. This isn't my first go-around. I knew upfront the tribulations of such a project, but part of the appeal is overcoming obstacles to reach the ultimate goal. December also marked the end of my four years as president of our local Sisters in Crime chapter. Adjusting to the change didn't come easy for me. While passing the torch of responsibility was a relief, I wasn't yet ready to let go of the reins. My plan for March is to begin moving forward and focusing more on personal projects.

#IWSG March 1 Question: 
Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?


I wrote a short story several years ago based on family information about the disappearance of a relative. No one ever discovered what happened to the person, so I had carte blanche on the plotline. While I was fairly satisfied with the results, my critics found too many faults.

Over the years, I've attempted to rewrite the story several times but to no avail. The only problem is, I really, really want this story to work. One day, I expect to dig it out, rewrite it, and have everything fall into place.

Is this wishful thinking on my part?
Should I give it up as a lost cause?
 
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24 comments:

  1. I believe that the subconscious works on plot problems while the crazy (perhaps that's just me?) writer is busy with other projects. I recently pulled out an old story that I was unable to finish because of the plot and I was able to rework it into something amazing. Perhaps stepping back, really stepping back, from the story gave me the insight to write it properly? Maybe that's what your story needs: just a lot of alone time before you tackle it with a chainsaw and turn it into a masterpiece.

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    1. Thanks, Ronel. Stepping back and giving my story more room is an excellent idea.

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  2. I feel, if the story is lingering in your brain, it wants to be written. I also agree with Ronel that the subconscious works on problems while you're doing other things. I bet at some point everything will come together.

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Bish. That also gives me an excuse to go out for coffee and cheesecake to let my subconscious work out the kinks.

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  3. Like Bish and Ronel I think if a story is yacking at you - you must eventually respond. You could try a totally different approach - a point of view change or a structure you haven't considered. Good luck!

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    1. The POV change might be just what it needs. It is certainly worth a try. Thanks, Jan.

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  4. I think it's harder to write anything based on truth, especially if it's personal - but that doesn't mean it can't be done! Sounds as though this one won't leave you until it's right.

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    1. You're right about it being more difficult to write when the story is personal, Patsy. That's why I admire those who write memoirs.

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  5. Definitely not wishful thinking. Some stories just need enough time and distance for us to come at it from a fresh angle. I've got a couple sitting around that are 20 years old and I'm still not ready to address. Each one has its own time. =)

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    1. Good to know I'm not the only one sitting on stories growing beards!

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  6. Aloha, Gail! If you really, really want your story to work out, I don't think it's wishful thinking! Go for it! Enjoy IWSG Day!

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    1. Thanks! Can you believe it is still raining in Honolulu!

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    2. No ~ and it's coming down in buckets right now!

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  7. I don't think you should give it up. It's not wishful thinking. Like Crystal said, some stories just need more time than others. I have one that I pull out every once in a while, look it over, and then put it right back where I found it because it's not the right time yet. I remain optimistic that the right time will come around eventually.

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    1. I hope that works for me. The novel my story fits into won't be on the front burner for a while yet, so there's plenty of time to let it marinate!

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  8. You can't give up on your story, as it always remains a part of you. Even stories I know that I can't make it work, stay with me, and I think of them from time to time. And maybe one day I will get back to them and make them work.

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    1. Or maybe incorporate the information into a new story. I agree that it is worth holding onto everything you write for future reference, at least.

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  9. I have a novel like that. It won't let me keep it in its drawer. It keeps calling to me, especially between projects.

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  10. You hit the nail, Lynda. The unfinished stories keep calling and during writing lulls, they clamor for attention.

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  11. One day the answer will hit you.
    Good luck with the anthology. They are a lot of work but fun as well.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. Yes, lots of work, but so much fun when the participants are all friends.

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  12. Lynda R. Young offered a wisdom-filled comment in her March #IWSG post that I am taking to heart in an effort to improve a short story for my genealogical novel. She says: It was too easy to stick with what was already there and reshape that, rather than completely pull it apart to bring it back together again.
    You can visit Lynda at: http://lyndaryoung.blogspot.com/

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  13. Try hooking your basic story into a larger plot that has nothing to do with the original situation. From that things may grow.

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  14. I say if you want to continue with your older story, don't listen to the critics. Only you know in your heart and head what you ultimately want to write about/do, so if it's still coming to mind, I say finish it and send it off. See what happens. Found you through the IWSG. Great news on finishing your novel during Nanowrimo! I have yet to succeed but hope to one day. Keep up the good work! www.dianeweidenbenner.com

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Aloha and thank you for visiting today!