Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Monday! (The Masochistic Joy of Taming that Story)

So happy this morning! Why? Well, there are lots of reasons.

First, I woke up this morning to find these awesome links in my blog reader (okay, a few are oldie goodies):

And the other reason I'm so happy this morning is that my Work-In-Progress is finally going someplace again!


This is my top secret, high concept, epic urban fantasy story that's been kicking my butt since I started thinking about writing it. I've started it eight total times (seriously, eight drafts of first chapters in my folder). Each time, it felt off. A few times, I thought I'd finally found the MC's voice, or decided whose POV to narrate from, but something always happened that made me feel wrong about it (like an agent tweeting that dual POV was hard to do and newbie writers shouldn't attempt it, which led me to wonder if I'm still a newbie writer if I don't have an MFA). Or sometimes I'd get a wake up call from a CP or family member who'd tell me the voice changed drastically from chapter 1 to chapter 2, or that the MC wasn't likable. 


After several false starts, I decided to tackle this one for Nanowrimo. (ahem. That didn't quite work out.) I made important progress, but eventually resigned myself to the fact that this story isn't the writes-itself kind.

It's not even the write-in-a-month kind. (I love that kind and have written two such books, so I can feel the difference.) This book is the labor-until-you-bleed kind, the hold-my-calls-and-call-a-babysitter-because-this-is-going-to-take-a-while kind. You get the idea.

Even though it would be easier to dump this story and pick up one of my other ideas that just might be a writes-itself story, I can't let this one go. There's something SO satisfying about taming a difficult story. Each conquered plot twist and revealed character quirk or strength is cause for celebration. 

So today I'm celebrating! Because I'm 91 pages into it after months of struggle, and even though it is still far from perfect (or complete), it's getting there

Yep. I'm taming this story, one heart-wrenching scene at a time. 

Have you ever tamed a story? Or do you find yourself gravitating toward the stories that tell themselves? Any advice for me?

Don't forget to join us for a New Year's Revisions Blog Party on January 1st. Sign up today. :)


  1. YaY! Congrats on taming that story! I just recently started a new mS that has been mulling around in my head. I usually have to "tame" my stories too. If I don't they seem to be too flat. If I have a decent book idea, it is usually one that I have to work for. They rarely pop out nice and easy for me. Good luck and thanks for supporting Critter!

  2. Story taming can be both exhilarating and frustrating. I have a story that I've been working on for 10 years. Yes. Ten loooong years BUT I finally (FINALLY) feel like I have it by the reigns and will soon begin the (I hope) final revisions. Best of luck!!


  3. Yay! I'm so excited for you taming the story. You know how much I love it. I refuse to let you give up. Hear me? I. Will. Never. Let. You. Surrender. LOL. :)

  4. Revisions . . . ugh, I'm tired of them and am ready to start a new project. Actually, I did start a new project and now I am glowing and happy about it!

  5. Christy, you're very welcome. Thanks for putting together such an amazing journey for an important cause! I got my contest booty from Critterpalooza this week and blogged about it today! Woot!

    And I'm glad to know I'm not alone in having to work for my stories to work.

    Jen, Holy Cow! Ten years?! *bows before you* Good luck with your final revisions on that. It must be very exhilarating to be so close to done.

    Lindsay, thank you! I love having friends like you I can depend upon to keep me from throwing in the towel. I. Will. Never. Surrender! ;)

    Angela, yay for new projects! They're so shiny and fun! Enjoy the infatuation stage.


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