Thursday, September 28, 2006

To the Bitter End

"People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it." - Harlan Ellison

Yesterday I worked om a short story I wanted to have ready for submission by mid-October. I very nearly finished it, which is pretty amazing since I'd been stuck for a couple weeks on where to go. Still, as I continue writing, now that I've found the direction to take, I find that I don't love the story.

But I will finish it.

Can the story be salvaged? Maybe. Maybe not. But the fact is, I hate to leave anything unfinished, so I will get to the HEA if it kills me. Then I will go back over it and decide whether it can be saved with a little writing CPR.

I like the idea. I think I'm going to like the ending (I love what I have in mind, so if it translates well to paper, it'll be stellar) and the characters are pretty cool, so hopefully it can be saved. The biggest problem is that there's a time limit for me to do this thing because it's a Christmas story. So it either gets submitted in the next few weeks, or it waits a year.

What do you do when you're writing something that you're not in love with? Do you take what you can from it (characters, setting, plot) and move on? Or do you finish it and see what happens?

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I'm taking my daughter to the fair today. One of the strange things I found about New Hampshire when I moved here is that they don't have a state fair. Just a bunch of little fairs all over the place. Today we're going to Deerfield, which is probably the biggest of the little fairs.

Growing up in California, I loved to go to the state fair. It was huge and exciting and there was tons to do and see. You could spend all day there and not take in everything. Here, we go early in the morning and are usually finished by afternoon. It's a shame.

But the daughter loves it. She loves the rides and the animals and the junk food. And she is excited to go all year. So, I suppose to her it's the same as the California State Fair was to me.

4 comments:

Ceri said...

Writing-I tend to put away stories that I don't love. I have enough ideas that I'd rather work on something I do love. But from time to time I get an epiphany and pick the story back up. I'm not good at forcing things though. That's probably not a good thing. Good luck with the story.

Fairs-I know what you mean. I used to live in Minnesota and we would go to the Minnesota State Fair which was enormous. I don't go to many fairs around here, mainly the Cheshire Fair. I love them, they're so quaint and so New Englandy. I used to show horses at the fair and that was a big deal. I haven't been to the Deerfield Fair but I've been hearing the commercials and they crack me up, especially the guy talking about the pig scramble (is that what they call it?) Have you been to the Big E down in Mass? That is a pretty big fair and I believe its going on now.

Hmmmm.... I think I'm going to have to throw a county fair into one of my stories.

tfjviwa-take four jellos very icy with apples

Tori Lennox said...

Arkansas has a state fair, but they're also way into county fairs around here. And beauty pageants! Lord, they have a lot of pageants around here!

xrrltfy - xerox really rocks late toads for you

Pam said...

Hi Maria,

I do what you do--keep at it, remembering the reason I thought it was a good idea in the first place and hoping I can find and revel in that moment again.

I think where there's a will, there's a way. :-)

Marianne Arkins said...

Ceri,

I can't seem to give up on a story... usually because I like the characters. I did take a character from one story where she just didn't quite fit and gave her a novel of her very own. But the original story lives on.

Pam,

I'm glad to know it isn't just me! Makes me think I'm not entirely crazy (or maybe we both are...LOL).

Tori,

No beauty pagent today... just horse shows, rides and lots of really bad food :-)

yvgizdz - You're very good in zoos doing zoology