“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” ~ Malala Yousafzai
“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” ~ Wayne Dyer
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” ~ Pablo Picasso
“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
During the spring, I was kind of stuck with my novel, The Space Between Time. I felt like it was pretty good, but even I got bored in the middle of the book. I couldn’t quite identify what was wrong with it. When you’ve lived and breathed a project like writing a novel for so long, I’ve been working on it for five years, you need outside help to point out the weak parts of the story. Then a writer friend of mine said something that helped me see the problem with the story arc I had created. She said, “Get your main character into trouble and keep her there.” On one level I knew she was right. On another, I felt resistance. I didn’t want to admit that there was a gap between where I was headed in my personal life and where the lives of my characters needed to go. My characters needed to get into sticky situations, the kind I avoid like the plague.
At first my heart sank at having to go back to my novel to add more complications for my main characters. But the more I thought about it, I realized that the stories I love best are the ones where the characters face very difficult challenges, learn something profound and are changed in the process. So my challenge became, can I do that in my novel too?
Yesterday, I finished another round of major revisions, which I started in May, and am ready to send the manuscript off to my writer friends to get comments and suggestions for more revisions. I like what I’ve done, but I have to admit that sometimes I shy away from too much conflict. Maybe I empathize with my characters too much. Feeling such deep empathy for others can be a problem at times and when I’m writing I sometimes weep for my characters because of the situations I’ve put them into. Maybe that’s a sign I’m on the right track. Even though I like the complications I’ve added, I also think I might need to take them even farther. That’s what I hope to get advice about from my beta readers.
There are many times when I have to remind myself that this writing a novel business is a long process and it doesn’t do to rush it. So, for a couple of weeks I’ll rest my mind, focus on other projects and deal with whatever needs to be changed when I get the comments back from my friends.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2015