My Biggest Writing Mistake

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I was excit­ed.

Malak, Honor, Alia

Malak, Hon­or, Alia

I had a char­ac­ter in mind and I could see her face.  She was a tall big-boned brown-skinned girl with atti­tude and an anger man­age­ment prob­lem.  Raised by a kind­ly old woman who kept stray chil­dren like some­one else would keep stray cats, Hon­or was raised in a home with oth­er orphan chil­dren like her­self.  Despite this, Hon­or always felt alone and adrift with­out a fam­i­ly to call her own.

Honor In SInistral

Hon­or In Sinis­tral

Hon­or knew she had a twin broth­er named Truth some­where out there.  If she could find him, he would be the fam­i­ly she didn’t have.  If she could find him, she might learn why they had been seper­at­ed and why she couldn’t remem­ber her past.  Along with her broth­er, Hon­or hoped to learn the truth of her past, the mean­ing of her visions, and the rea­son she had super­nat­ur­al pow­ers.

Truth and Segher Satellite

Truth and Segher Satel­lite

This sto­ry, like so many that I dreamed of before, also serves as my own per­son­al PSA, as it address­es in its way my fears about the envi­ron­ment, and cul­tur­al, racial and reli­gious big­otry.  For me, writ­ing is often an act of cathar­sis.

When I think about it, that sto­ry sounds pret­ty good, if I say so myself.

Honor, Malak, Alia at The Hole

Hon­or, Malak, Alia at The Hole

I designed a pret­ty slick look­ing blog (I thought) and I post­ed a chap­ter every two weeks with accom­pa­ny­ing art.  I enjoyed hack­ing out this tale.  Hack­ing.  Yes.  Hack­ing is exact­ly what I was doing.  I was hack­ing this idea to bits.  I was slow­ly and sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly los­ing the best bits of this tale through for­get­ful­ness and neglect and replac­ing those bits with…nothing.

Honor&Truth has so many plot holes I couldn’t fill them with five tons of asphalt.

Here is why:

While H&T start­ed with a phe­nom­e­nal idea, I nev­er com­plet­ed even a cur­so­ry out­line.  As a result H&T was direc­tion­less.  As a result the char­ac­ters were too many and not well devel­oped.  I wrote what­ev­er came to mind.  This is fine, for a rough draft, but not for some­thing that I intend to post online for the world to see.  In short H&T wasn’t ready for prime­time and nei­ther was I.

Alif

Alif

What do I think of H&T today?  I still love the con­cept of this sto­ry at its most basic lev­el.  I am still intrigued by the cen­tral char­ac­ters and their per­son­al dilem­mas.  I’m not so sure about the direc­tion they’re trav­el­ing in though.

I’ve decid­ed, after long lamen­ta­tions and fear, and well, let me be hon­est, guilt, that this blog will have to go the way of the dinosaur.  I’m going to leave those old bones alone and build anoth­er stock­i­er ani­mal; one with stay­ing pow­er; one built to live in this day and age, in this cli­mate and atmo­spere.  I won’t let that baby out again until she is dressed in her finest and ready to show­boat.

H&T is not a mis­take but start­ing ser­i­al blog was my biggest writ­ing mis­take ever.  EVER.  I’ve learned a les­son and I’m proud to say so.  This has been ter­rif­ic!

  • I’m cur­rent­ly run­ning a sci-fi sto­ry on my blog, which I update sev­er­al times a month. I start­ed with only one char­ac­ter and let the rest flow. How­ev­er, I already had a com­plete­ly built world and I wrote an end­ing (which actu­al­ly turned out to be episode 23 and I’m past 29 now) . I wrote anoth­er end­ing, which might or might not be the real end­ing, but helps great­ly to move in the right direc­tion, because I have no out­line for the sto­ry. At least I nev­er wrote any and keep the basic idea in my head. I’m past 20k words and it goes on per­fect­ly. I don’t know what I did right — small dynam­ic chap­ters, the idea where I see my char­ac­ter in the end, or apri­ori world­build­ing — but the exper­i­ment is a suc­cess for now. 🙂

    • khaal­i­dah

      That is awe­some Jele­na.
      I’ll need to stop by and take a peek at what you have!
      I wish I could have been as suc­cess­ful.  I think my sto­ry got away from me.  I have a lot of respect though for those who can make it hap­pen.  Kudos to you.

  • khaal­i­dah

    Hi Jen­nifer. Thanks for stop­ping in to com­ment.
    For­tu­nate­ly, I love these char­ac­ters and care deeply for them. Their expe­ri­ences are close to me, speak to me, and come from some place deep in me. I think that the H&T tale actu­al­ly is part of some­thing grander. It has inad­ver­tent­ly become part of anoth­er sto­ry that has been rumi­nat­ing in my brain for more than four years. I didn’t know that in the begin­ning. This has taught me tons about the process of writ­ing though, that it is an EXTREMELY cere­bral event and that it takes as long as it takes…which can some­times be a good long while. This has also taught me about patience.  I need to get some! and let my sto­ries mar­i­nate until they are done.

  • Jen­nifer

    I had a relat­ed expe­ri­ence a cou­ple of years ago. I had two pri­ma­ry char­ac­ters. A sto­ry line, some plot twists and a set­ting.  What I didn’t have was an end­ing. So I decid­ed to out­line it and see where it went. And it went…nowhere. I had a begin­ning and a mid­dle and that was it. Worse, once I saw my sto­ry on paper, I found myself going, “um, why do I care about these peo­ple again?” Even­tu­al­ly, I gave it up as a bad job.