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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Writing the Right Book?

  • Had a very productive weekend...this unplugging thing on the weekend might be just the ticket! 
  • Blogger wasn't working for me yesterday, I read a lot of your blogs, just couldn't comment on them because of Blogger's annoying error messages. Made for a very cranky Vicki.
  • If you haven't entered the Blackjack contest yet, you can do it here.  We play next Tuesday!  For you non-gamblers and non-card players I'll post the basic rules before hand. It's easy to pick up!
I've been wondering a lot lately whether or not I'm writing the right book.  Part of this doubt is just my sadistic mind playing games.  I really don't think it wants me to finish this book.  But every time I have another idea or I run into a hurdle with the current plot, I take these whisperings a little more seriously.

What if I'm not writing the right thing?  What if I'm just wasting my time with this one?  Argh!

I'm willing to bet I'm not alone on this one.

I've got all kinds of ideas lately.  I think they could be developed into great material. 

Then there is THE story.

The one I don't have the guts to tell.

It's not a memoir or strictly auto-biographical, but there are elements that definitely hit too close to home for comfort.  Maybe in a few years when the kids are older and less likely to be subjected to any fall-out.  Maybe then I'll find my spine and give it a whirl.

I'm wondering, though, am I alone?  Does anyone else have something they'd like to write but the timing is wrong??  Do you ever take family/friends into consideration with the things you write?


The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Oh yeah, I always take family and friends into consideration. I wrote somethings very personal about friend of mine in my first novel and immediately felt guilty about it. So what I did is, I perfected that section so that it was suitable for her to read, gave it to her and asked if she would mind if I included it in my book, explaining the logic behind it and why it needed to be in there. She was really great about it and appreciative that I asked her. There were a couple of point that she wanted me to remove, but other than that, ost of it stayed. And I have a funny feeling that if I hadn't asked her, all hell wouldn've broke loose if it had got published without her consent.

I'm also writing a memoir, which is about my mother and I. I also asked her if she minded. She said as long as I tell the complete truth, she has no problem with it.

So just be honest about it, to yourself and your family and friends, don't hide anything, and you'll write what's meant to be written. :)

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

I think Jessica said it pretty well but I'd always take family/friends into consideration before writing anything like that as well.
I'm writing YA at the moment, but if I did ever write a memoir - or something based on personal experience - I'd check with the people involved first.
When you do come to write it though you'll knwo when the time is right (or write, haha). :)

Dawn said...

Ah yes, I know this internal debate well. Likely all writers have crossed this path. I don't think anything you write is a waste of time, because it gives you perspective and experience. One of my closest friends has just begun writing a book he envisioned almost a decade ago. I asked him: why did you wait so long? He told me he wasn't ready before - he needed some words / completed manuscripts under his belt. A lot of his earlier work is lightweight, good, but not great. What he is writing now is amazing. But the timing is now right for him.

Every word you write is a great opportunity to learn. Absolutely take family and friends and even timing into consideration, but nothing is a waste of time.

Wendy Ramer said...

A few years ago, I started a story that would have been (and would still be) the timeliest topic to discuss - the life of an autistic boy. But I could't get through the first chapter then (too emotional and close to home) and I still can't (same reason). I'm afraid that by the time my son grows up and I've got the fortitude to write the story, it'll be old hat.

KarenG said...

Whatever we write helps us. Teaches, trains, disciplines us. And then one day we finish the project that gets us published. So think of each project as useful, whether it's the one that will be published or not doesn't really matter at the time. No writing time is wasted time.

Matthew Rush said...

I write about things that really happened all the time. Just change the names and pretend it's fiction and never admit to it. That's what I would do if I ever did that kind of thing even though I don't and never would. Just kidding.

India Drummond said...

When I was younger I wrote more from personal experience, and I'm glad I got that out of my syste. Although people who know me may recognise my voice or opinions in a manuscript, I tend to write more from observation rather than about people I know.

Kristi said...

Oh yeah, all the time. I think little bits and pieces of our real lives sneak in even more than us writers realize!

And I totally understand your dilemma with "are you writing the right thing?" Only one way to find out I'm afraid...journey on! :-)

Megalicious said...

I often wonder why I am bothering writing my story too, but for different reasons. I keep reading that the first novel an author writes is usually crap and doesn't sell anyway. So if I'm struggling to write something that will likely just end up in my junk drawer, where's my motivation?

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I have an outline finished for a novel, but the topic deals with relationship abuse, and I'm finishing off one (final edits) that deals with rape. Those kind of stories are emotionally draining, so I'm working on the outline for one that isn't anywhere near as emotional. :)

I heard tons of bloggers were having problems with Blogger yesterday.

Janet Johnson said...

I've definitely had the urge to switch in the middle, but ultimately I'm glad I didn't. Still you have to go with your gut.

And even if what we write is never published, so what? I write because I love it. And every word I write gets me that much closer to publication. It's never a waste.

Talei said...

Hi Vicki, you're definitely not alone here! ;) I am writing my first WIP and have thought long and hard about this. I'm learning as I write so am interested to hear what everyone is posting here. I am conscious to avoid having my main character pick-up some of my own personal traits although a few quirks do sneak in. Also am sensitive to friends and family, its hard as we always draw from our life experiences. Sometimes you have write what's inside, even if its just for your own peace of mind. Good luck! ;)

Tahereh said...

ahhhh i know EXACTLY what you mean. "THE" story you know you can write, you know you should write, but you just can't make yourself write?

i finally broke that barrier with my third book and it changed the ENTIRE course of my writing process. it broke down a million mental blockades for me and liberated me from so many insecurities about myself as well as my writing. i'd do it again a million times over.

sometimes it's worth it, i think, to take that scary step.


Talli Roland said...

I have a few stories I'd like to tell but I'm worried about the repercussions. They always seem to make their way somehow into my MS's as a mash-up with other stories, though...

Carolyn V. said...

How funny! I did that with my last wip. It was fun to write and everyone loved my first chapter, but I didn't feel like I was writing the right thing. I finished it and put it away. My current wip feels right. It's a completely different genre. How weird!

Maribeth said...

Isn't it a comfort to know that the whole damn world of writer's is suffering through the very same things you are.
I, too, consider others when I want to write some things, mostly children.
Life is great to write about as long as i doesn't get in the way.

Giggles and Guns

Lenny said...

i think you gotta follow what your heart tells you. i started doing a story and stopped just only after a little cause it kept feelin like my insides said no no not now. i saved it cause maybe some day my self could say yes and then it could be ok. ...hugs from lenny

Sandy Shin said...

Don't worry, you're not alone in this. I am the same. Though I love the WiP I'm working on, I have so many other ideas plaguing me, ideas that might be more suitable for the market at the moment. It's scary, thinking you might be writing the wrong book at the wrong time. But if you love it, do write on. Maybe, when you're done, you'll find it's not the right book. However, it'll be written, and, if you want to, you can go back and fix it later when it IS the right time.

(I'm not quite sure if I made any sense here, but good luck!)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Vicki--It's a hard call...Do you listen to your gut or do you listen to someone in the inudstry? When you ask the question are they answering based on their likes, needs or wants? I think that may be the case lots of times.

Write what you want. Do the VERY best you can...use critique partners. Do research when you send it out. Show your voice in your writing...

I couldn't write a high fantasy book if my life depended on it...Do what you do best!

Happy Tuesday!

Kimberly Franklin said...

I usually just write whatever feels right for me the write at that time. The characters and ideas have to be fully flowing for me to write, though. That is a must!