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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.


Wyman Stewart said...

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


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.


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...


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.

Anonymous 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!