Saturday, January 6, 2018

Rethinking Things

I've been writing my entire life, so I am by no means a beginner or new writer. I am still perfecting my craft, so every book I've self published to date has been revised and sometimes revised again. I am constantly striving to produce the best story possible, told in the best way possible. One novel I wrote has been through three complete rewrites because although it read fine in third person, when I read it a second time I felt remote from the lead character, not well connected with what she was experiencing. I wrote it again in the first person and although it was better, I still wasn't happy with it because I really didn't explore the characters feelings and motivations or relate her journey of self discovery well. The third time was the charm- the character is near defeat when the story commences...she has grown weary of the daily struggle to survive. Then she meets a kindly old man who does not treat her like a freak, and he draws her into his circle and nutures her hungry spirit. She makes mistakes, but she is suddenly self aware enough because her essential struggle to survive has been addressed therefore she can pause and examine things in more depth. She is making connections to her past and tugging on the common thread, pulling it free of the disasters and unhappiness that have bound it up and snagged it thus not allowing her to move forward. There is confusion, misunderstanding, incomprehension going n, but she tries harder to figure it all out even when she doesn't have the big pieces that connect all the little pieces to comprise the whole picture. She grows throughout the novel all the while her greatest flaws are her lack of self confidence and her ensuing insecurities.

Through the next two novels in the series she continues to fight her way forward, to find herself, to find her place in the world and to discover who she is and what she is. She still has insecurities that she is trying to tamp down, but she is also making amends, struggling to heal the fractures in her family and reconnect with the people who labeled her a freak in the first place. She is different, and now she views them differently, with less resentment and more compassion.

In many of my novels difficult relationships are at the heart of the story. In The Archetypes series (currently two books- The Archetypes First Generation and The Archetypes Shockwaves) the lead characters, Amanda Pennington and Benjamin "Beans" Carter (Rex) struggle with who they are and what place they hold in the world. They've been friends for years, but that friendship was established because they both felt different from their peers and both were sheltered by her father. Upon the father's passing they begin to discover just how different they really are. They also discover further shocks that draw them closer together but also have the potential of tearing them apart. Amanda has to cope with the fact that she is the product of her brilliant but twisted father's lab experimentations and that, to him, she was little more than a lab experiment. Beans has had an even more difficult upbringing with no real sense of family connections. He also has buried within him terrible secrets and memories of past experiences that rise to the surface and threaten to destroy him psychologically and emotionally. The novels are all also about re-establishing fractured family ties and forging ahead, bonding as a family, protecting one another. There is mad science and insanity involved.

Today,I'm thinking about the books I've written and the stack of unpublished novels in need of revision and the new novel I'm writing that are sitting on the dining room table. I'm also thinking about my own life. I've always been one to forge ahead through adversity. Things have not been easy the past two years and I have fallen off pace with my writing due to the increased distraction of constant worry and the effect that's had on my overall health status. It has begun to seem overwhelming to me to write about my characters issues when I am suddenly bogged down in my own issues.

Therefore, I don't know whether or not to continue writing at this point, or just concentrate on working everything that is wrong in my own life out to the best of my ability. My rheumatoid arthritis plagues me with physical and mental fatigue. The things I am dealing with are also energy vampires. Writing has always been my escape from the real world while working solutions out in the back of my mind, or through my writing, but fighting my way through the curtain that separates the two sides of my life (real and creative) is difficult right now. I don't have the energy to maintain the level of focus I've maintained in the past, which is a bitter disappointment. I am writing down the bones, as they say, but not able to delve into the depths that I have reached previously.

I'm not one to ever give up, but I have to admit that I am growing weary. Like the snow drifting across the road, my path is becoming obliterated by stress and worry and the unknowns that comprise my horizon at this time. The day grows darker...I feel as if I am losing my way. My internal compass is frozen.

I need to think.

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