Thursday, January 26, 2017

In Which I Wax a Little Metaphysical

Fate is such a fickle word. It comes with so many connotations. Many people draw up and wince as if they've been gutted at their core. Others feel the urge to correct me.

Quite frankly, I believe in God and I'm just naive enough to believe that things usually do work out for the best. That being said, I love the mystery of the word Fate. I'm a mythologist and the word conjures up three women, sitting at a loom, weaving out the destinies of the world. The Three Fates of the Old World. No, I don't believe in predestination nor to I believe that everything is carved in stone and we don't really choose our lives. Choice is the most powerful gift we've been given. But I do like the idea of things just meant to be.

Fated, if you will.

Tuesday I wrote about finding a novel I'd forgotten about. I felt so silly. Really? FORGOT you sat for a week and pounded out words to tell a story that came to you and needed OUT?

Yes. I pulled a Hemingway and wrote a novel in eight days. Don't hate me. The rough draft is awful. But it's a draft and it's finished. I count it a small, yet messy, victory.

Well, after I got over feeling a little foolish, I wondered: what if I was meant to forget about it? No, no, hear me out! Don't go all Realist on me.

I started work on a novel several months ago and it has NOT come together. I've had glimmers, even some pretty sizable chinks cut out that let in substantial light but nothing that would give it the continuity and believably I needed. When I rediscovered the Lost Novel, a very important element of the Difficult Novel was made clear. It was a Holy Crap moment that I was excited to discover. But that wasn't it. Lost Novel also whispered to me of a very important element that was missing from another novel, a Prospective Novel I outlined 4-5 years ago.

I had a feeling they were connected but I didn't know how. They aren't a continuing story but they lacked that woven thread. Now they have it and it glitters like a spider web in the dew.

Novels want us to tell their tales. They come to us as gifts, sometimes begging us to write them. And I believe that we, as writers, need to find a way, somehow, to write them all to the best of our ability to write them. However, I also believe that novels come to us for a specific time. And, here I go being naive again, I believe that some novels may come to us for specific people.

Throw it all together in your cauldron, kids, and let it stew!

The point I'm trying to make is this: don't beat yourself up if you've not finished that novel yet. Don't get angry or jealous because you keep hem-hawing around a story, that it just isn't clicking yet. It will. Yes, I say that with confidence. It will. Every story that comes to us becomes a part of us. Some of them need to simmer a bit, soak in our imagination and meet up with other stories that aren't yet fleshed out. Or, if I may suggest, yet to be born.

If a novel isn't coming together for you, let it alone for a while. When the time is right, it will come back to you. Sometimes from an old file folder, or from a mention from a friend who wonders "what ever became of that story your were writing?" Or, if you tend to be a little quirky like me, you may forget about it all together and when it comes back to visit, it will bring along some friends you had no way of knowing they even knew.

Happy Writing,


  1. That's good finding that old one made the new one click.
    I've let a story idea sit for over a year now. Hopefully the answer does come to me soon.

    1. It's good to let stories sit. Let 'em simmer. Marinate, if you will. I love going back to a story and "seeing" it with fresh eyes!


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