Sunday 16 October 2022

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: The Thing I Was Trying To Write

My work-in-progress (WIP) looks nothing like it used to.

I started These Ghosts of Ours - which I hesitantly call a novel - an embarrasingly long time ago, as a teenager.

I've actually probably been working on it for half my life at this point, although I've had massive breaks of years when I didn't do anything on it at all because my life was imploding in various ways, shapes, and forms. 😅

(If I'm lucky I may finish These Ghosts of Ours by the time I'm 100! Woo!)

'The Thing I Was Trying To Write' title with a desk holding a typewriter and a vase of sunflowers

It keeps morphing.

These Ghosts of Ours is barely recognisable from its starting point. 

  • The main characters have changed entirely. 

Side characters who cropped up halfway through those early versions now have centre stage. A prior Love Interest has been more-or-less sidelined (though she remains unhappy about it.)

  • The setting is different. 

I'm not trying to set things in London, which was never truly gonna be me. 

Instead, we're right here in my beloved Wales.

  • The plot is almost 100% changed -

- with only the odd element from that melodramatic teenaged version surviving to the current attempts at fragment-based-writing.

(I write in patchwork because my brain now refuses to construct a linear narrative in real-time. *sighs*)

And yet... to me it's the same.

It's the story I was trying to tell when I was ill and young and hurting and frustrated, and watching way too much CSI: NY.

(You won't find many traces of CSI: NY in the original draft, let alone the current one. But without it I would never have started writing this thing. Life is funny, sometimes.)

In a bizarre way this is the thing I was trying to write all those years ago - I just didn't know it yet.

And while it continues to morph, characters continue to crop up uninvited, and do things I certainly didn't tell them to do... I've gotta hope and believe that this is the thing I'm meant to write.

No matter how much the doubts creep in (and lord knows, they do,) and how often I wonder whether I'll ever manage to finish this - let alone publish it - or whether I'm even any good as a writer at all... 

I'm going to keep going.

Because I need to write this.

Let's hope one day it's worth it, huh?

Does your writing ever change dramatically as you're working on it?

Do you ever spend so much time on something - either writing or otherwise - that you wonder if it's gonna be worth it?

Talk to me! 😅💬

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  1. My writing always changes, no matter if its an essay or a creative piece. My major research paper for my masters degree went through so much change from the first proposal to the final project, but like you said, it still felt like the project I was meant to write. We evolve with our writing, and I think it's great to map out a timeline of different projects to see how they were shaped by our life experiences.

    1. Honestly, I wouldn't want to map out some of the changes ;) and while I totally agree that we evolve with our writing, I feel like it's better to not know the origin of each point - more fun that way! ;)

  2. My stories change all the time. I wonder why I spend so long writing detailed outlines when I veer off in a completely different direction once I start writing. I suppose it doesn't hurt to explore all your ideas on something rather than just settling for the first thing. Adapting as you go can only make your work better, I think.

    1. I have zero outline, except what I cobble together as I go along out of the snippets my brain comes up with (lol!)


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