I’ve got precious little going on inside my head right now, so I’ll just touch briefly on what I thought this story was going to be. The original idea was simple: I would write a fairy tale-ish story, and set it in some far away time, and then plow ahead without doing a single bit of research or all that much thinking as far as the setting went. In retrospect, I was shooting for something very, “The Princess Bride,” like.
Let this be a lesson to you…and me. Just because a book has a bright, airy, chatty feel, does not mean that said book was easy to write. Not that I wasn’t impressed by William Goldman before, but my respect has waxed anew. Yes, I had a fever all weekend, and yes I couldn’t get a grip on my story, and yes I have all sorts of other excuses, but in the end I think that I just stupidly mistook “silly” for “easy.” Not the smartest move.
Also, I’m coming to learn that I’m far better off carving a story out of a character rather than an idea. “The Rags,” was the same crap. I get an interesting idea for how I could write a story, and then I get into it and I realize much too late that I have no mojo whatsoever. The idea alone isn’t enough to sustain me. I can’t sit down and say, “Okay, be silly,” or, “Be dramatic,” or, “Be interesting.” It just doesn’t work. I’m much better off toying with a character, then slowly inserting them into a situation and seeing how they react, how the situation reacts, how things play out, backing up if need be, coming in from a different perspective if need be, and building a story out of that. If it turns out silly, great. If it turns out sad, great. If it turns out romantic or scary or a mix of all of them, great. But I don’t get to decide that at the outset.
Boy do I ever not get to decide that at the outset.