Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Life Is A Highway" (pt 6)

Story #3 on our journey through my version of reality, is one that I posted here previously, called at the time Golden Texas Tea. As stated, this was my first attempt at writing a sequel to my book, Shades of Love. I had planned on writing two stories as a sequel, one involving the main characters Wally and Azalea, and the other involving Dorethea and Jorge.

The first story came out to about 24 pages and the second came out to be about 36 pages. Both of these will be featured in this book, and both will be heavily re-written. We'll talk about the first story, since this is the one that I just started editing/rewriting, and had recently made a post about.

The main reason why I'm doing a major renovation/demolition of this story, is because, to be quite honest with everyone, the story sucks. The writing sucks. The pacing sucks. And most importantly, the plot sucks as written. Now I know this sounds kind of harsh and more likely than not, most writers are like this with some of their stories, but most writers probably wouldn't be bashing one of their stories so badly in public. Privately, yes. Publicly, no.

Me, I have no qualms in saying that this story sucks. I wrote this back in 2006, without the foggiest idea on how to write properly. Believe it or not, I actually submitted this thing to few contests as is. Anyways, fast forward to last year. As I got more involved with writing my blog, I also took off on a search and destroy for other writing related blogs that I might be able to use for advice and tips. After spending about three or four months finding, reading and bookmarking about twenty or so writing blogs (along with the purging of about half dozen that served no purpose in the end), I came to the sad realization that my writing wasn't even remotely on the same planet with the others I was reading.

So off I went to practice, practice, practice, and read, read, read. And what did all this practicing and reading do for me? Quite a bit actually. It helped me refine my writing skills, it made me realize the right way and wrong way to write, and most importantly, it taught me how to be my own editor and help improve the old stories that I got sitting around that I wanted to use for this novel.

So here I sit with story #3. The original plot was that Walter went off on a book tour of New England. Azalea went to Connecticut to surprise Walter and possible spend some quality time with him. She discovers that Walter was cheating on her (rightly or wrongly, it was never made clear). She drives off to where the adventure all began. While out on walk to clear her head, she gets killed by a drunk driver. At her funeral, her spirit (?) reappears at the wake. It also reappears at Walter's apartment. The story ends with a gunshot, leaving what happened to Walter (suicide?) hanging at the end.

Without even going through the trouble of re-reading this piece of garbage, I decided right off the bat to write it as a ghost story, using both the first and third p.o.v. throughout the story. I plan on having her narrate the main story, with the angels picking up the slack at certain points, and keeping the interior portion in the third.

In keeping with my preferred writing flavor, the working title of the story is called A Lascivious Limbo. By no means (I hope) will this be the final title, as the cattle call for title suggestions will continue right up until I put this bad boy in it's proper order.
Update on the WiP: I have finished the second story for this novel (which is actually story #5). The end result was about sixty-four pages, totaling 24,608 words. As it stands right now, the total word count for the novel is 41,013 (total page count 108). I started work on the third story on 3/23, after taking a week off from completing the second one. The second one took me about six months to finish, stretched out over two years. I'm hoping that this one will take me about three months to complete.


  1. It's all a process, reading, writing, learning, revising, editing, revising again rewriting. But eventually it just becomes a way of life, where you wouldn't have it any other way. Best wishes on Story #3, it's got a lot of great angles going on there!

  2. Very true.

    I've learned alot over the past couple of years on how to write and how not to write.

    Interestingly enough, this story is actually moving quite well for me. I've already gotten five and a half pages written already.

    It may be a little drenched with the item that people have bashed me over the head with the most, but at least I got a proper handle on how to write it without turning people off.

  3. A painter paints.

    And a writer writes!

    And YOU write. You don't just talk about it - you get right in there and do it.

    Bravo to you, brother!

  4. When I look back at my early writing I find the prose itself not so bad, but my ability to construct a story was sadly lacking.

  5. Jannie: many thanks for the compliment. I would like to say that the same holds true for you as well.

    A singer/songwriter does just exactly that, they write/compose both music and lyrics.

    You don't just talk about it, you actually do it. And do it well I might add.

    Charles: I can understand that. This is going to sound odd, but I think what got me going to the next level was the feedback I got from some of my supervisors who were impressed with the way I wrote business correspondence.

    Like you eloquently stated, the prose was decent, but the ability to construct was severely malnourished.

    It's getting better, believe me. I'm miles beyond where I was in '06/07, but I still got a long way to go before I feel comfortable enough with my ability to write.

  6. Yes, it's all about the rewrites. Oh, the endless edits.
    I'm reminded me of that expression: "I'd have wrote you a shorter letter if I'd had more time."

  7. Terrific advice to all of us aspiring writers! Writing takes work and heart. The more you write; the more you evolve. You take your craft seriously by putting so much effort into it. Continued good luck!

  8. I just admire that you are sticking with it and reworking. I haven't even touched my NANO novel, also too 'sucky' I think. Stay with it, you'll will eventually get there. It does take LOADS of practice.

  9. Alan: yeah, the endless rewrites, revisions, re-editing, re-rewrites, re-revisions, etc. etc. etc.

    Still wouldn't trade it for anything.

    Septembermom: thanks. I couldn't agree more with your sentiment, "the more you write, the more you evolve."

    I truly believe I have grown quite a bit in the past year and a half while writing (and especially blogging), but I realize I have much more to do before I'm satisfied.

    Rightonmom: The fact that you completed a novel for a contest, just to see if you could do it, says a whole lot about you as a person.

    I'm sure you'll get back to it soon, it's just the matter of finding time to do it.

  10. A ghost story! I'm dabbling in one, too... but more a gothic sort of thing.

    It's amazing to look back and see how far we've come!

  11. Yeah it is.

    It's not turning out to be not so much of a ghost story as much as a spiritual repossesion of sorts.


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