Friday, August 14, 2015

Don't miss your Excite

Even the best story ideas can become dull or lifeless at times. Sadly my insurance doesn't cover sick or dying story ideas. If you want a laugh, give your insurance company a call and ask about it. And by 'want a laugh', I mean if you want them to laugh at you.

One thing that I wish or dream about is reviving an older novel I've written called "Going to the Beginning". Last week I spent several hours rewriting the beginning paragraph from scratch. When I was done I had nothing visible to show for it because I had deleted every single attempt.

I could give up. The story is rough and messy. If it was an animal most people wouldn't let it in their house. In fact they'd probably call animal control. Thankfully I'm not most people. I'll happily take in the bedraggled and unloveable. That's probably part of the reason my house is always so cluttered.*

All I can say is "I love clipart", ok well that and what's with the bunny? He looks way too normal.

What I needed was to bring back the excitement it my story. That idea that churns around in my head. It blankets itself over my other thoughts until I expel the words through my fingers and onto the page. 

It was time to go back to the beginning. I'm not editing my old novel. There are too many unnecessary plot and character points to fix. Each time I try it bogs me down and I feel lost. It's hard to clear up something when you can't remember what you want it to look like. 

Since then I have rewritten my core idea and premise for the story. These are the reasons I first wanted to tell this story. The important stuff that I lost track of while I was busy plugging in my daily words.

The core of my novel is about what a sister will endure out of love and a need to protect her sister. It is also about the misconception that having a mental illness means you are broken or less than other people. 

This is what I wrote down for the premise. "After missing for a few days, nine year old Jane is found in a coma. Her sister Julianne is the only one who knows the secret of how her sister disappeared in the first place. She is determined to follow in her sister's footsteps and find a way to save her sister." Dun Dun Dun.**

After writing down my core idea and premise I started to believe in this project again. The premise even ended up being vastly different from my original one. It's going to take more than a few little edits here and there to the story. This doesn't upset me though. I am an intrepid explorer about to uncover the lives and plot of characters I've already come to love. 
I always think I'd write better with a quill pen and perhaps a regency inspired dress
Have you ever gutted a story or revamped it drastically? Did the daunting task give you a new spark of creativity? I'd love to hear from you.

* Although I prefer the term future artifact dig
** I have a hard time writing anything even remotely suspenseful without adding Dun Dun Dun or something similar. I'm very mature that way. 


  1. Yes, I've done that--twice.
    Once I hit a wall at about half-way through because the story just wasn't working. I came back a year or so later and flipped the gender roles. Totally different story, but it works.
    Then I went back to that first botched up novel and rewrote it. Same basic plot, somewhat streamlined and, hopefully, better written. That one has been my best seller.
    So I say, go for it.

  2. That's so encouraging. Thanks for sharing. It's easy to forget that stories don't always come along in a linear progression.


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