lathriel: (writing)
[personal profile] lathriel
Bear with me, this might get strange.

So I think a lot about imaginary people (because I'm a writer, and a reader) and I think a lot about story, and what aspects appeal to humans, and how, when things are taken too far, maybe people sometimes expect real life to be like stories, which isn't impossible, but unlikely. And I think sometimes about these characters that go through so much and finally achieve their huge, massive goal--and then what? What drives them forward? Do they get their happily ever after? Or does the story go on? Or rather, do they begin a different story?

Happily ever after is widely accepted as a myth these days, because we know that time and life doesn't stand still. You can't stay at the top forever. Problems arise, solutions must be sought. Stories must be lived.

I think about that a lot: what do are the characters' lives like after the story ends?

And then I hit my own milestone/climax-resolution yesterday. I finished the first draft of GHOST CITY, the first novel I've started and finished since 2010 when I posted the last chapter of The Poppet and the Lune (unless you count my massive rewrite of THE HIEROPHANT). I felt like I should have been more exuberant, more over the moon for my accomplishment. I had to check to make sure I wasn't suppressing joy in favor of doubt (as I do). I wasn't. I was excited, but no more excited than I'd been the days before. I'm excited for the book! But the story goes on, well after the first draft, as any writer knows. And I'm more excited to move forward onto the next stage of crafting this story than I am excited that I finished one stage of it.

It's a little bit like me getting fired. I'm far more excited and enthusiastic about being free and living my life as I've dreamed, than I am excited to be free of my terrible day job.

That's not to say that when I do finish a final, polished, ready-for-submission draft that I won't be exploding with joy, but that's a slightly larger milestone to meet.

Relief is more the feeling I had yesterday. I was relieved that I made it through the whole thing. I was relieved that I had it in me, another story, another novel. I was relieved that my decisions about the novel, whether they were the "right" ones or not, were good decisions. I was relieved that I could do it. I can do it. I can write novels, and more than just the ones I've already written.

I have a feeling I will feel that same relief with the first draft of every novel I will ever write.

Date: 2013-04-19 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] costumenut.livejournal.com
I think you and I are similar in that respect. Maybe because we view creativity as such a vital part of our lives, as important as breathing? It's like "this is complete, good job, now on to then next step".

People ask me a lot how I have the energy to do what I do, and I almost don't know how to respond... I just do it because I need to do it. The same with my relationship with Pete... we just are. Yes, creating and maintaining a relationship is work, it's damn hard work, but it's the daily life I'm living.

Congratulations, by the way!

Date: 2013-04-20 07:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lathriel.livejournal.com
Yes. It's like how any time you tell a non-writer person you've written a novel, they're like "oh wow, I could never write so many words, I'd lose interest" or something to that effect. I can't not write novels. I can't not tell stories. It literally kills me to try and be anything other than a storyteller, and that means creating, completing, and creating again. *hugs*

Date: 2013-04-19 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wldhrsjen3.livejournal.com
Congrats on finishing the draft!!! That is a *wonderful* accomplishment, especially after all the turmoil and transition you've faced lately. I am so proud of you!!

And yeah, I know what you mean about focusing on the future and the steps that come next. I, um, have trouble concentrating on the present because I sometimes get overwhelmed by everything *else* that I want/need to do next. There are SO many stories to tell! Books to read! Things to do! Heh. I need to practice discipline and just stick with *this* step until it's done. You are a great inspiration to me!

Date: 2013-04-20 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lathriel.livejournal.com
Thank you!

It's a bit of a joke to me how, when I'm not writing, I have no ideas that seem feasible or interesting, and I worry I've run out. Then when I am writing, a million other ideas come to me begging to be written! I've learned over the years that, for me personally, I *have* to finish one project before I start another, so it's helped to just know that it's not within my reach at the moment.

Also, I've made a law for myself: if I'm not excited and inspired about what I'm working on, it's probably not ready to be written. If I'm excited (even though I may be scared or feeling like the worst writer ever), then it's much easier to focus on NOW. That's not to say I only write when I'm "inspired," but inspiration doesn't mean execution of ideas, you know? I may have been inspired last week, and those ideas still need to be put on the page, even though today I don't have that spark.

But I ramble. ;D

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Madeline Franklin

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