Thursday, April 26, 2012
Don't Give Up the Ghost...just yet.
Okay I'm frustrated. I don't know about you but some stories I have to wrestle with, even though I know they're a good premise. I have one that I've been tooling with for literally years. I love my main character, have a great grasp on setting, strong secondary characters, double love interests and yet this damned story won't gel. I hate to give up the ghost on it, I know it's workable, but something keeps escaping me. I think it's called a good plot line. Oh, it has a great plot—making it work logically is the trick. One of the big problems here is that I don't have the time to devote finessing this story and I am damnably impatient. (I get that from my mom.) I want them all done and I want them done NOW. I constantly am working on at least two books in my head and I'm kind of learning how to write them both almost at the same time switching between them with major plot points and keeping the odd notes now and then.
Oh yeah, there's that fantasy about two or three desktops or laptops spread across my desk and I've actually seen people who have that setup. Yet I know me and me would probably have Pinterest permanently on one, Facebook on the other, and a pitiful blank page on the original computer. Yes, I'm a pro at procrastination as well.
It's not like I don't have ideas I just can't get to them all at once. I've thought about voice recording them as the story unfolds, but that's just a little creepy and 1970's Dictaphone-ish for me. Think Columbo driving the criminal crazy until he confesses from the sheer pain of annoyance or the Lieutenant figures out it's the Dictaphone that holds the key evidence or clue. I love Columbo, always have, but it's the recording concept that freaks me out. I am by no means the executive type so audio-recording notes is not in my orbit of existence. Sad thing is I used to be an air talent on the radio and made air checks to learn from my mistakes. Still, I doubt I'll ever be recording my stories unless I'm on a non-stop flight to Europe which will happen next month. But then the only thing anyone or me will hear is "Oh God Oh God Oh God" since I am terrified of flying more than pretty much anything on this planet. Go ahead and laugh—it's true. I write about space vehicles zipping between planets with ease—key word here—I write about them, I don't go flying around in them. I guess I figure that if we can finally master interstellar commutes then we should have a good handle on traffic jams in cross-galaxy freeway systems. Hmm, sounds like a new plot forming…
Back to the beginning for that problem of wrestling with that story: one of us is going to come out on top and as of now, it may not be me. Sometimes you do have to give up the ghost, at least for the present. If the story stands up after a time, it's meant to be; if not it's dead in the water anyway. How do you know? I don't know. I only know that I rarely forget a story, written or unwritten and I always open up to give them just one more chance at life even if it's mutated into an entirely different version of it. Sometimes that's the best resuscitation method. Clear!