Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Unfinished Business

I''ve been avoiding writing here, because all I really want to do is blab about how I finally finished the fan fiction story I was working on.  And really, who cares?  What bigger waste of my time could I have engaged in than writing a story that is a total ripoff of another author's characters and plot, retold from a different perspective?  True, I added my own characters, with a little backstory of their own, but all in all, its just for fun.

However, even "fun" can bring its own type of pressure.  Like the fact that even though I'd sit down at 9 pm planning to write for an hour, hour and a half tops, I would find myself at Midnight or 1 pm, still going.  And despite the fun factor that caused me to lose track of time, I was getting a little tired of my story, seeing as how I had only gone over it my head a few thousand times.  I just wanted to be finished with the thing so I could stop feeling compelled to work on it.

I had to take a short break, to get the family and myself through some nasty cold germs, and then another break to prep a 6 year old birthday party and make a Castle Cake.  Afterwards, I told my husband one night, "I'm going upstairs to work on my story.  I have to finish it tonight."

"Why?" he asks, "It's not like you're getting paid for it." 

So I don't remember what I responded (that's my story and I'm stickin' to it), but the fact that I wasn't getting paid for it was precisely the reason I wanted to get it over with.  I have in computer files, thumb drives, CDs, diskettes and notebooks, plenty of "Unfinished" writing.  Even the NaNoWriMo novel that I successfully completed as far as "word count" went, was (and is) still unfinished.  It's not like I'm getting paid for any of it, but at least I wanted to enjoy the feeling of something being done, rather than abandoned, or avoided until I forgot whatever inspired me initially.

So in addition to finally finished something I wrote, I learned a few other things through the process.  First and foremost is that, as fun as NaNoWriMo writing 50,000 words in a month was, I think my writing does better without the pressure to be verbose.  I started my fan-fic as a short exercise, at 7000 words had covered the basics of the story, and then as I attempted to make it "reader-worthy", it began to grow.  Finished off in 3 months with 46,000 words.  If it were not a fan-fic, I would happily go back later and "grow it" a little more, but I'm ready to move on to other adventures.

Another thing I enjoyed about writing the fan-fiction was being aware of my audience, and trying to write in a way that would please people other than myself.  That was something I hadn't even considered with my first novel and has given me some serious food for thought about how I might now go back and finish it off better. 

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