Wednesday, December 27, 2006

All that work for nothing

Today I sat down and read over some of my work. Something I try very hard to talk myself out of. I have a tendency to rewrite everything and ruin the original voice. This time, luckily, I didn’t. But I did notice a trend in all of my characters.

I have always written characters that were a like in some shape or form, nothing original there. I put some quirk of mine or someone I know into a character to get a better feel of them. I can’t make up someone, having nothing in common with them. They die a terrible death on paper. I noticed that all of my characters (8 stories in all) have a giant chip on their shoulder. I call it my dragon, because it spits fire and singes my ass on a daily basis. But these characters, every single one of them, had this pissy attitude about every situation I put them in. My dragon is spitting fire on more than just me. It’s affecting my work in a very bad way.

I have one character, who I wish I was more like. She’s strong, she’s ambitious, she’s smart, strives to be better and to reach her goals. She is the most positive character I have ever created. Yet there she was bitching about things she wouldn’t normally bitch about. It was me, not her. Sometimes hardships can inspire you to create beautiful masterpieces. Then sometimes it darkens things, smothers the muse and all that’s left is a pile of useless crap. I have 8 stories, all different, yet they have turned into the same thing. I have been working on these for months, three of them for over a year, and I have nothing to show for it. They are great ideas; I can say that at least. Now comes the task of either starting over, fresh faces and fresh scenery or edit them. I hate editing; I ruin it every single time. But I guess in this case, it can't get any worse.

Its strange how while writing I don’t notice that I’m giving all my characters a complex. I don’t see it at all until after I wake up from the abyss. Then I slap myself on the forehead and start over. I have boxes of ideas because of this. But, it’s the first time I have ever turned my characters into me. Normally the story rambles on, like I do, with nothing moving forward and nothing of any importance happening. Most of the time, all I have to do is go back to when it started and delete from then on. These stories started out this way. A couple of them had a great start, like the character I mentioned above, but just a few pages in it turns. I’m pissed that I have wasted months and months on nothing. And I’m sad that I spent all those months pouring my soul out on paper and I couldn’t even see it. I knew I had a problem, told people I did, but I couldn’t really see it. Like looking through a murky window, you see distorted pictures of the outside world and you think you know what the blobs are but you’re not quite sure. It was so hard to see what had been happening inside my head jump out at me from the paper. I had no idea that this could affect my writing in such a negative way. All artists speak of how they are tortured souls who get inspiration from their pain. Yeah well, not me buddy. It strangled my characters, hung them by their ankles and left them to bake in the sun.

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