I hate starting something and not finishing it. I hear my grandmother’s voice so clearly when I have to admit defeat. “Oh, just like Paula to start something, and never finish it before moving on to the next thing.”
For days now, I’ve been caught between two writing projects. Working on my new novel, and completing a not so short story. Four chapters in on the novel, but only 1,490 words in on a 7,000 word short story. The novel is already mapped out and it’s a case of getting the words down, and editing it within an inch of its life.
The short story has been a painful struggle to find a plot line something I was able to get my teeth into. I knew who were my main characters were but mapping their journey in my tale Down Another Bloody Rabbit Hole was a none starter. For days, in between finishing the edits on Seeking the Dark, I had been working on my Alice 13 submission off and on in some vain hope I would reach a point where it would start writing itself.
I had a vague idea from the beginning where I wanted my story to go, but no clear idea of how to get there and the ending was a bit ambiguous. As I worked on it a couple of sparks ignited ideas which excited me, but they soon fizzled out so I was left with nothing to carry the plot line forward. I tried the trick of going to sleep thinking about my Alice problem but woke the next morning with an empty head as far as new ideas went.
“I don’t see how he can ever finish, if he doesn’t begin.” —Chapter 9, The Mock Turtle’s StoryFrom Alice’s adventures in Wonderland by English author Lewis Carroll published 26th November 1865
I listened to the audio book of Alice in Wonderland on Youtube hoping to find something to give me a sense of direction, but again nothing. My given theme was crime, so it wasn’t as though it was difficult for me to write something I would be happy with. I couldn’t kill Alice off as she needed to be alive to carry on her adventure in the next story in the anthology. I tried thinking outside the box by reshaping the characters from the original story which I had already done with White Rabbit. I found a site on the internet that not only listed the characters from the book, but gave you a break down in the symbolism behind the craziness which is the Alice’s adventures in Wonderland.
Once I had finished my household and garden chores, along with my Seeking The Dark book edits, I decided to focus on the Alice story. I sat for a day playing around with ideas I had listed on a writing pad, but nothing came to me. I then threw in the towel and contacted my dear friend to let her know I couldn’t complete my story. Gopi was kind enough to say that I had four months to work on it. I know four months is a long time, but I felt it was important to say now to allow her to seek out a new writer.
I felt a weight lift from my mind. Now I can focus all my energy into writing my Granny Wenlock novel. Sometimes the right thing to do is to step back. I know if Granny hadn’t been breathing down my neck, and I just had Alice to think about I would have found a plot line straightaway, one I would be happy with. Nothing goes to waste with writing so I’m sure my Alice story will find a new home in a rewrite and one I will be far happier with it.
Have a great week everyone. I’ll catch up with you again soon.