Thinking It Through

Today I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and the first thing that popped into my mind was the story I’m working on.

You see, it’s been worrying me.  And I knew if I was waking up that fuggin’ early then there was something seriously wrong with the story as I envisioned it and had so far written.

So I thought about it most of the morning and finally realized I was telling the story I wanted to tell, I was even telling the story that needed to be told. But I wasn’t telling it the right way.

Let me explain.  As it stands I’m in the middle of a flashback and the next scene will be another flashback spinning off that flashback.  Now, I’m not one of the Ivory Tower Commandment From On High Types who says flashbacks in fiction is always wrong.  Come to think of it, I kinda like flashbacks.  But two in a row is probably a serious technical error and it hurts the story in a major way.  So I thought some more while sitting with my Writing Buddy (and also in the midst of bugging the hell out of her while she was trying to write a book review, you know, doing actual writing work, but I kept chatterboxing and then she yelled at me to shut up and I kind of got the hint) and I figured out how I should have been writing this story in the first place.

So, yeah, I’m relieved.  Because this has been going on for two days and like I said when I’m waking up in the middle of the morning and the story is nagging me that something is fundamentally wrong with it…well, you either gotta fix it or let yourself go slowly bonkers.

I’m not telling you this so I can show you how I’m such a dedicated writer eaten up with angst and desire for the perfection my art, and how you should not only pity me but hold me in esteem for my willingness to sacrifice to The Muse .  Not a bit of it.  I’m just mentioning it because sometimes, as a writer, you have to go through this kind of irritating bullshit before you see the story as it must be, not as you think it should be.

It was a good lesson for me. One I learned a long time ago but had forgotten.  It was a good reminder, and one I needed.

This weekend I’m going out on the deck and start this story over. I’m looking forward to it. I can see it in my head much clearer now.

Man. It’s a relief. Now I have to try and get that vision down on paper.

The hard part.

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