I’m writing a story that I’ve written before. I’ve mentioned it a couple of times. I’m about 3/4 of the way through. I keep putting off working on it. I don’t believe in writing unless my heart and mind are both with the story and lately my mind is unattracted to it. It’s not quite writer’s block but I don’t know the words I’m looking for. I know how I want it to end, the attitude in which I want the story to continue and I know the basic outlay of the land that lies between the last chapter and me but it’s difficult to choose the correct path to take. I’m an indecisive person by nature so to plot out a story is no easy task for me. I often wonder why I try.
I don’t mean to sound crazy but the honest answer for the question of my attempts to put the people in my head into words is simple: They want to exist. I close my eyes and their stories begin where I last left them without my having to put in the effort. When I start to create their existence with words forming statements and declarations of events and emotions, they slowly fade as if their pasts that I have written were as distant as my own. It’s the only way to get rid of them and even when I finish a story there is a residual presence of the characters in my head– just like real people from my past.
When my last hard drive crashed, killing all of my friends instantly, their spirits were revived in my head and I am now stuck with these people who want to tell their stories in a new way. I’m overwhelmed with excitement and intimidation. I don’t do English very well (haha) and I don’t read as much as I used to. I remind myself that I have three (almost 4) horribly written stories lost in a dusty hard drive we don’t know how to throw away. I then ask the infamous:
This time, with this story that I have titled so far A&R, I have more than the characters and what happens to and between them. I wrote it before my stroke in 2011; so I already knew the story when I decided to try to rewrite it. The characters were back in my head, her story wanted desperately to be told and the others wanted to support her as they do in their tale with her. But, I’ve had a stroke, and with that came a new mind that I am still unfamiliar with. As I started to write, remembering some finer details with surprising clarity (I can’t even remember most of Skas’ first year of life anymore), I started to think deeper and deeper about the purpose of the story. Is there a message? Is there a moral? All stories have morals, right? I mean, there’s a saying and everything:
The more I started to think about it, while continuing on with my writing, I noticed there is absolutely a message in this story. But am I good enough to make it known without having to point it out to everyone myself? Am I good enough to not get lost in the details and keep that shimmering gold thread weaving through the story visible? Am I good enough to keep any reader, even just one reader, invested enough in my tale to close that final chapter and say,
I totally get it
I don’t think I am good enough but maybe one day I will be. I feel like this story, with this extra effort my brain seems driven to include in my writing and storytelling, has real potential. I feel like before, with my pre-injured brain, the story was worse. It lacked context, depth and the characters weren’t multifaceted. If they were, the angles of their personalities were obtuse. I like the story itself because it connects me to a part of my past that will always be with me and one of the many aspects of that is the most visible portion of the moral to this tale. They say writers often include aspects of their pasts, personalities and lives in their writings, as if the story itself can be one long analogy for one event, one emotion or the atmosphere of one circumstance that never left the author. I feel like if no one can pick up on the overall moral/s of the story they would at least get the analogy. The analogy is the story. Without it, there wouldn’t be a moral and without the morals, there’d be no point.
I think I talked myself into a circle? I wish I was educated so I wouldn’t have to stumble around in the dark with these questions forming this cloud of doubt over me. It was so much easier before when I just wanted to rush out the stories and hide them away with the rest of my shadows, uncaring of how terrible they were. Now that I have found a message I didn’t know was in this story, I can’t continue writing without ensuring that I’m getting this message out in a way that will attract readers and not dissuade them from considering its true meaning and how it reflects on their lives…even if I hide it away like its predecessor.