Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Get it written

"Don't get it right, get it written!" ~James Thurber, American humorist

I opened the door. You know, the one at the end of the hall. Yeah. That one. It opened quite easily. Seems it had been unlocked for some time, waiting not-so-patiently for me to turn the knob.

There's this tale I've been working on for a long, long time. I call it my trilogy but it's more than that. Much more. It's the first work I've ever poured my heart and soul into. It's the first work I've ever been broken over. It's also the first work before which I've ever found myself cut open, bleeding and dying.

Dying to self in order to live.

For ten years I've worked on this story. Off and on, in anger and doubt, in excitement and confidence (oh how precious few those times are).

Behind that door was this story, not as I've written it, but how it wants to be written. I've been trying so hard to get it "right". To make it polished and smooth, so it will go down easily like a liqui-tab to a sore throat.

This story doesn't want to go down easy. No, it wants to tumble forth, jagged edges and all. This story has teeth and talons and refuses to be tamed. I've tried shoving it in boxes and closets and locked steamer trunks to no avail. It will NOT be what I've tried to make it.


To be honest, this story scares me. I thought it was straightforward. I thought it was done. Now it's asking me to rip it apart, tear it o shreds, throw those bits and baubles to the four winds and see what happens when the chill takes them. When the monsters are set free.

Looks like I have a lot of work to do.

Question: Have you ever had a story-a completed or almost completed story- REFUSE to let you submit it? Have you ever had a story fight to be told TRUTHFULLY and not how YOU think it should be told? Have you ever had a story that SCARED you? Have you ever tried to make a story SAFE because you're afraid no one will read it if you let run wild?


  1. Your story sounds intriguing. I start out intending to tell one story that turns into something completely different once my characters take over. I tend to follow their lead. I think it’s always scary to let a story go, but it’s something that has to be done in order to move on.

  2. Oh wow! Good luck on tearing down and rebuilding! That can be a lot of fun though!!(doesn't sound like it but it can be!) You will probably be SO pleased in the end!

  3. Good luck with your story.

    Sometimes I'm a little scared of what I write--of the things people do and say in the novel and their reasons for it.

  4. First--finally made my way over here to follow. Sorry for taking so long!

    And yes, my current MS is like that. I was scared to write it (Stalled for 2 years) and it's been the hardest, most stubborn draft ever. I sometimes think I'll never get it right. And it refuses to play by the rules. So yes, I know your pain. If you find a solution, please--do share! :)

  5. What an intense WiP you have! But it sounds worthwhile. Good luck!


Well, hello! I'm so glad you made it. Come inside and sit by the hearth. I'll take your coat and hat. The kettle is singing and there's cake and candles and good conversation. Settle in and make yourself at home. Don't mind the wolfhounds; they're friendly if you give them a bit of lemon curd.