When is a story, not a story?
January 31, 2017
The answer is simple….. When it is not the right one to be told.
I only discovered this at the weekend, when staying at the fabulous Gladstone Library in Howarden. As usual our writing group had arranged a weekend away for us to have some time and space to focus on our writing; as individuals and as a group. Sadly, we were a depleted group, as life sometimes just gets in the way, and some of our members were unable to attend. Normally, non attendance is my forte, as I can be a bit ‘flaky’; but not this time.
Last year had been a tough one for me, and as such, my writing had really taken a back seat. So much so, I was becoming embarrassed to call myself a children’s author.
I had ‘blagged’ my way through various meetings promising to write xx amount of words, but in reality I had done very little. In 6 months, I had probably written about 2,000 words; 4 chapters. That’s it. There is only one word for my attempt. Shabby.
Then came Gladstone, and as I sat in the beautiful room, surrounded by books, an open fire and looking out over the frosty gardens, I had my ‘Aha’ moment!
The real reason for the struggle to write the story, is because it was the wrong story! I had no idea how it was going to work, or where it was going. I like to begin with the end in mind, (thank you Steven Covey for that nugget), and quite frankly, had no clue; I was blindly writing and hoping things would fall into place.
Once I realised this, I felt the pressure of having to write, fall away. It’s strange, once I had given myself ‘permission’ to accept it was going nowhere, a new plot with new characters came to me within minutes.
I now have my plot outline, characters and first chapter written, but more importantly, I have rediscovered my mojo.
Writing is like anything in life. If it doesn’t feel right and you’re dragging your heels; it probably isn’t right.
I now have a better story, and I can’t wait to write it.