Jun 16, 2021
8 mins read
Ripped from my beloved blog - Journey To Being Free.
Boy, oh boy, oh boy!
I have been stewing in my own anticipation for a full week now. It's so bad that I am writing this Tuesday's post on Friday at 1244. I mean, I have to tell you this.
Remember the novel? The one in which the main character and his story came to me 2009 but I couldn't write it because I wa not emotionally mature enough blah blah blah, 1944 conflicts needed, yadda yadda, three years to write, blah blah, is now a monologic poetry-play.
Obviously, I couldn't really care less about genre because that's exactly what had been holding me back for the last month or more. I wanted the novel structure to be set, adhered to, perfect. I was planning inches out of this thing. And honestly, I was straight up scared. I was scared of the story, not knowing the end, not knowing the main antagonist, not having enough of the protagonist in my back pocket, not putting enough truth and emotion, and meaning, and me into this story.
I was scared.
I was afraid.
I broke the original story into two parts. It was difficult but necessary. Then I changed the gender/sex of rhe protagonist because I realised that having been raised as a female in a community of females who were also raised in a similar community in which males are outsiders, aliens, and nurtured into thinking a certain way - a way males are not taught or are taught not to think I would be doing the story a disservice, not the character but the story. The character could be X and identify as Y, but that would add a layer not intended for this story and would possibly distracted from it.
So I now have a female protagonist in her world, the setting which had been his before falls into place. Or maybe she falls into place. It feels like hers. She is alien to it. But she possesses it simultaneously, something he never did, as she moves through the world. This is all happening in her mind and mine. Her consciousness is floating iver everything and I can perceive her reaction to it all. The male protagonist had never had this. I was always pushing him or he would never move in this world. In other worlds he was at peace but this was obviously not his and I should have noticed that long ago. But I didn't. So she moves through the world. She is a native. She picks her home. She knows why she is angry.
Is that fire in my belly?
The story lives.
But still I was holding on. I was afraid to make the mistakes I had made in 2009, 2010, 2013 and all the other years that I went calling and pushing my male protagonist. I was afraid of nit having enough plot, of not having enough of an idea of where we were going. I was afraid because I never knew the endin and how do you begin a story and not know the ending?
So I obviously need plot points, conflicts. I begin scribbling internal and external conflict, internal and external solutions noting how these solutions affectbthe protagonist and antagonist. It's work but play but taxing and I am in. But I hit a wall. I stand at this wall running my fingers into the nooks and crannies. They are not deep. I go to the male protagonist, his first story, another world, one he's comfortable in I begin work there. I am nervous there. I am scared. I plan out backstories.
But her story is running a needle across the nape of my neck, the wicked thing.
I take a break.
Twitter is at the ready.
I want to read but not the books I have with me. I open Kindle, zilch. I try to locate downloaded books, PDFs. Nope. Fine. Twitter gets me. I get Twitter. Jack Fuller. James Fuller? John Fuller? James Fuller according to Kindle was promoting a book. The book is on Kindle. The book is free. The book is the prequel.
I don't know why but I have never much been concerned for the order of sequels, trilogies, sagas in any form. All I need to know is that it is whatever the creator chooses to call it. And I will read and make mental notes of where and what the gaps are. Thankfully, my mind and memory are still intact and have just brought me the memory of a bookshelf in the Antigua Public Library where I would go daily from 0800 to 1630 for more than a few summers and sometimes after school. The bookshelf is contains the series I am eating through. I have just finished one book. I've put it back. The next book isn't there. Maybe someone was careless or untidy. I search. It's not there. I got to Alicia, the librarian incharge of checking out and taking in books for that week. Someone had checked out the book moments before. I go to another shelf. I try to read a Nancy Drew. No, it will not do. Not now. I put that book. I return to the Fearless series I take the next book that's there.
As I read, I paused making educated guesses about the gaps. I knew the plot, the characters, their history and relationships. I made mental notes that these were my guesses and where I couldn't come up with anything I made notes of those to. At the beginning it required that I pulled my mind away from the story, closed my eyes, and focus. Now I make an audible "Mhm" while nodding my head and without any pause.
So I went to Amazon, got Tealock and then realised I actually wasn't signed in which is why my Kindle app was empty. I read the prequel as a standalone and because it's a prequel I had no questions except: Why are you telling me this specific backstory? And the answer to that was simple... it's prequel. Maybe other people might have questions, though I doubt it, but when you habitually read series out of order... order becomes just another concept. But concept or not, series or not. I was still hungry. I'd learned somethings from James Fuller's Tealock.
I could use these tricks in my writing. I could let more of the story in. But I was hungry. I listened to some more Screenwriting 101. Why am I listening to screenwriting while planning a novel to plan a novel? Because writing is writing, and story is itself as well no matter the genre. They spit some heavy stuff in there. I was burdened but still needed this break. I needed light substance.
I was on a hiatus from television. But Netflix isn't television says the addict. So I reinstalled the app downloaded stuff. Chowed on stuff, got to Malcolm and Marie, pussyfooted for some reason, took the dive, got educated on the movement of conflict and passionate realistic dialogue.
There was something moving inside me. That movie had turned on a light, but it was either dim or in another corner. I watched something lighter. It was average. Some parts resounded so well others as though they weren't even trying. But it did its job in clearing some of the clutter of fear. I wanted something in my mind. I wanted silent words. To the Kindle.
There was so much waiting for me. I hadn't finished Stephen King On Writing, had I? So I started it over from the beginning. I've never read any Stephen King fiction and try my best to stay away from his movies but I had heard him read a short passage of one of his books, saw interviews of his, on YouTube. So I knew he was a good writer in my book - one who entertained, was willing to share, and down-to-earth. This is also the vibe I am getting from the book with a lot of humour added. And as I am reading, I am being inspired and pausing here and there as the light gets bright and he signals how absolutely normal these fears are and where the floorboards are paintings and the warnings are tests.
One of such inspiration came in the form of advice to write the story out as soon as you can, and to write 1000 words of story daily. I began with the 1000 words. As soon as I can has long gone I thought. But it was odd. I sat, no plan, no discernible plot, and female came out to me, spoke, brought one antagonist, a conflict, two, a resolution, and today, Friday, she has called to her second antagonist, the primary villain. In doing this activity I let go again. I wanted this story to be a novel but as sometimes happens and as had been happening over the years with the male all I got was dialogue, just her tearing herself to pieces with sound abd reintegrating yet again with the same. So I let her.
As I let go she bursts through not with the she said, he said which I expected but with something more poem than not. And when she spoke, her antagonist was silent and invisible and the same for them, giving each other space and time as though they do not exist together. And I let them. And in letting them I believe what I have, this story, is a play.
Maybe I have not classed it correctly. But I don't care. It's coming out. And it's beautiful. And it's rich and strong and passionate and most definitely alive. I thought it might have died. I thought I might have been carrying a corpse in my arms, keeping it warm with my own heat. But it is alive, and I am free.