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Monday, May 21, 2012

Coming Home

I started writing my first "serious book" when I was 12. I'd written other books before then (with the term "books" loosely defined as any Word document between 5 to 30 pages), but when I got the idea for Giving Light, I KNEW. It would be big. Epic. Bigly epic, in such a way that I instantly started dreaming of publication and being adored by fans who would be amazed that such a masterpiece was written by a mere teenager. Or preteen, as it were.

But it kind of sucked. The story itself was pretty good, the characters alive enough for something written by a twelve-to-eighteen-year-old, but in the end it WAS my very first novel. And first novels are rarely good, no matter how much I desperately wanted/needed/KNEW it to be good. So after a few years of slowly coming to this conclusion, I put it aside in favor of newer, shinier projects.

The story, though, has never left me. I still have all of my illegible notes, my story maps, my (very, very bad) sketches depicting various characters. I pull it all out every once in awhile to reminisce about Little Author Me, and where I started, and to chuckle at how CERTAIN I was that this book would be IT. A few months ago I even started rewriting it in the offhanded hope that I could make it not suck. Got about two pages in before Ghost Book distracted me. (In Ghost Book's defense, it is pretty awesome.)

But I finished Ghost Book (or, you know, "finished long enough that I can start getting distracted by other things") and wanted something new to start on. Something epic and beautiful, something I could totally lose myself in. It's been awhile (since STREAM PIRATE, really) since I've had a book like that -- Ghost Book, while freakin' wonderful, isn't a lose-yourself-in-a-completely-different-world kind of book. And I desperately missed getting so wrapped up in my own head that I stay up into the wee hours of the night writing at ferocious speeds and get so lost in Laptop that I completely miss conversations going on around me.

So I pulled out all my old Giving Light goodies and shuffled through them in the hope that I had some random, forgotten note for a story idea I could expand. Some blip of a thought that sets off like wildfire. And while I was perusing my many, many, MANY notebooks, I remembered how lost I got in Giving Light, how beautifully, hopelessly in love I was with all my characters. And I decided -- it's time.

It's time to resurrect it. At the time, it served its purpose -- to propel me along on my writing journey and help me hone my craft. But now, I have a lot more experience with the whole writing-a-book-that-isn't-quite-horrible thing, and I think Giving Light (or Snow Like Ashes as I'm calling it now) deserves it's best chance.

So be prepared, Bloggerites. It's been a few years since you got Lost In A Novel Sara and with any luck, that's exactly what's about to happen. Coming back to this story is like returning home after a long, long absence. Everything's just how I left it yet gloriously filled with potential.

5 comments:

Wyman Stewart said...

Resurrecting an old story calls for a song, maybe a little dance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFCoaNjZqUM

So, there's a link to an ancient song of the 1970s called Resurrection Shuffle. (You'll enjoy viewing the people.)

A better sounding version of the Resurrection Shuffle (a 45 record) by the same band can be seen on the next YouTube link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imB4Ny5zceo&feature=related

That should melt the Queen of Winter and make her putty-pretty in your hands, while reshaping her for modern times. Best of luck to you. Thanks for reminding me of the old song.

Dara said...

Hooray!!

I wrote a novel at 12 too. It was about an immigrant girl from Eastern Europe, coming to settle in Cleveland (because, you know, I lived there and all). I got completely lost in it too--read up on so much of the history of the area. I finished the first draft too--still the only draft I've finished to date.

It's pretty sad that 12 year old me could finish a novel (90% of it handwritten on typing paper) and 27-year-old me cannot. :P Someday I may go back to it--the characters have always been with me.

Carolyn V said...

Good luck Sara! I love pulling out old projects. ;)

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I wish I'd kept the stories I wrote when I was in my preteens; I lost most of them, and I regret that I didn't hold onto them. But it's good that you're resurrecting your story, because that shows that it continues to resonate for you.

L.T. Elliot said...

Ooh. I think I just fell in love with this blog post. You know how I am about epic-ness! I'm so excited for you, Sara!