Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's just a bunch of hocus pocus!

Hello everyone!

I haven't written a blog post in a while, so I figured I'd try to fix that a little bit. We'll see how this goes, though. Also, here ye be warned. Les Mis GIFs galore because I'm me.

I don't know why this is relevant, I just think it is. Maybe it's how I feel?

Anyway, I'm almost at 19K in my ghost story, which makes me really really happy! Erm, because writing about people dying and tragic ghost stories are the kind of feel good puppies and rainbow stuff that I fill my life with. 

In all fairness, I did listen to Les Mis for like five months straight so I guess my "happiness meter" is a little off.

So, the ghost story. Early reports are that it's creepy, which is a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge plus for me because it means that I've actually figured out how creepy.

Yeah, it's mostly by doing this a lot...

Since I'm still in the drafting process, I can't give too much away, BUT I can talk about what it was before this draft (which, hey, it's the point! I figured out the point of this post!!!).

I will never not get tired of this GIF.

Before the current draft, my story was an around 60K product of NaNoWriMo. It still had most of the same characters, and it took place at a boarding school that had a rather sinister reputation. Macbeth played a big role in my story, and my main character was cast as one of the witches. She also made a lot of Hamlet references, just to mess with her drama teacher.

There were a lot of subplots, a character who was kind of like a high-functioning zombie, ghostly dreams, things getting written in blood, and a few fun sequences that might get adjusted and put into my newer version. I was super pumped during NaNo because I thought this story was awesome and that it would be super legit when I was done with it. And I'd totally planned on finishing my first draft in December.

Which obviously didn't happen, since Les Mis sort of took over my life.

When I went back to the draft of my ghost story, I knew it was a bit of a hot mess. And I was determined to fix said hot mess. I'd come up with a new angle and was really excited because this angle meant that I'd have to revise, but not a significant amount. So I started the story a chapter earlier with my new angle, and refused to acknowledge that something was off about it.

I sent it to a very trusty CP and...she said something was off. So then I sat there, staring at this story that had come so far, and I...didn't know what to do.

This was my face as I tried to figure out what went wrong.

I came to the conclusion that the whole thing just didn't work. Which is probably the worst feeling in the world, when I'm 60K into something and I love my characters and the concept and the whole thing just isn't clicking into place.

The book I'd written before the ghost story had happened so easily that I was really confused when this wouldn't work. No matter how many times I tried, it wasn't happening. Not being able to fix my story was terrifying, disheartening, and basically had me feeling like this:


And that's when I realized that I had to change my whole book to make it work. I got a bit scared again, because I'd written so much and I'd have to start fresh. I was attached to certain things from this first draft, and I knew I'd lose a lot of it by taking it in a new direction.

So then I did this for a while:
On my own. Writing a ghost storyyyyyyyy.

But then something awesome happened. Everything clicked into place. The characters I loved actually felt like they belonged in this new story. The concept I'd wanted to incorporate from the beginning WORKED. My story WORKED. And it was really through something as simple as changing the setting and the circumstances surrounding a major plot point/the story's concept. It was the book I'd wanted all along, but had no idea how to find in November. It was my ghost story. I'd finally found my ghost story.

I was surprised, too.

So now I'm happy to report that I have full confidence in my tale of ghostiness. I know the plot twists, and how I want to make everything happen, and if I could publicly gush about the concept, I would, because I love it and it's everything I ever wanted to write. 

I suppose the point of all this, if there was one, is that I wouldn't have a story I was completely in love with if I hadn't realized that I didn't love the first version of it. The lesson I learned here is that, when it comes to my own stories, I really should trust my gut. Otherwise, I won't be happy and the whole thing will wind up being one hot mess.

Okay, I think I'm done rambling! YAY for figuring stories out! And YAY for facing the fact that sometimes there are stories that cannot be --- because there are better ones waiting to happen :)

Yeah I'm using this GIF twice in one post.
One might say I have a heart full of love for it.

**GIFs from tumblr!

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