Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Inevitable Fork...Writing and Living through the Hard Parts

A week or two ago I rolled up my sleeves and took on yet another opportunity to revisit Eggshells, my young adult novel. I was excited and eager. You see, I'd known all along that something in that storyline was just not working for me.

But now? I've hit that inevitable fork in the road, and I realize that this time it's not going to be the race to the finish line that I'd first expected. I'm taking it slower, letting it simmer and writing shorter, hoping for pages that are vivid and clear. In the end, anything that's forced ever seems to work, so I might as well keep my focus and go after it.

The universe presented another opportunity...that looked plausible and seemed believable, so I took it. I realize now, I'd short-cutted the ending in the first round, because I wasn't seeing an ending that worked. I was forcing my way to the finish line. And now...I think I have a chance to change the outcome entirely. Forks in books are just like forks in real life. Often they lead to other forks, and a few twists and turns as well. The road grows clear, and then it gets crowded again. Writing, like life, is wonderful and tortuous at the same time.

What forks have you been presented with in life? How has your path changed as a result of it all? You never know, it might end up in print someday! ;)


George Stockwell said...

Very thought provoking. I spent some time not long ago thinking about all those forks along my 67 year old road and realized that the older I get, the better the decisions. Ah, wisdom. Why does it have to take so long? You've given me some blogging ideas. Thanks.

Joanne said...

I've taken a fork with my writing, more than one now that I think of it. The blog is definitely one, and I've also written a memoir manuscript in addition to fiction. Each fork takes my writing to new places, all expanding my writing and world.

Jody Hedlund said...

I actually really like it when my story comes to a fork in the road and takes an unexpected turn! Usually it add more demension to the story than I'd originally planned.

gael lynch said...

George, I know what you mean about the decisions. Sometimes, though, there are decisions that are out of our hands. I'm learning to be led I guess!

And Joanne, your blog is wonderful, so welcoming and warm. I'll bet your memoir work is very much the same. hit the nail on the head! It's the layering we're going for...otherwise we might just as well draw stick figures all day! Thanks!