Monday, January 11, 2010

buried treasure

Finally I had some creative jolts in this new year, and had a bit of quiet to utilize them. I've resolved to finish (one draft of) this fiction piece I've started YEARS ago, at least to have one draft completed from start to finish, this year. You would think years would make it die out, but this Lilly woman is in my head, telling me what she's going through, and so it has never totally fizzled out.

I started it with the idea of a short story, and then had my idea for who the antagonist would be, and then that changed 2 times. (I know it sounds crazy that you don't know the "who done it" of these stories from the get-go, but believe me, the characters have their own ideas about plot!) Then more characters popped in to the mix, and with the help of a community college novel writing class, an on-line fiction class, and the ever-encouraging words of my writers' group (bless them!), it's really getting going. (If one can say "getting going" over a 3 year period?) Thus, my resolution to finish the story. Then, I can edit it.

It felt like a God-nod that I got the Writers Digest issue in the mail with a cover popping with articles about inspiration and persistance for aspiring writers in 2010. I even read most of that issue instead of just filing it "for later" with all the other issues I never made time for in '09.

Anyway, as I was working on new scenes and actually living up to my resolution (well, at least not hurting it), I came across my old files of various chapters and parts from all these years of fiddling with the story. I was quite surprised and pleased to find that I had written some very good bits (sentences, merely) in parts of these old ramblings, which illuminated ideas long forgotten about the story. How cool is it to come across a "new" plot twist you'd already thought of but forgotten? Never mind the worry about early onset alzheimer' least I wrote it down.

Which goes to show why it's important to keep writing, and get it down on paper, even if it's awful and you hate it and you can't beleive you'd ever dare to call yourself a writer. And thankfully, we live in the age of word-processing cut and paste, making it so much easier to sort out the gems from the seaweed. Because who knows what gems you've deposited deep under the sand without a map?