This revisitation of my shitty YA werewolf novel is going surprisingly well.
I think I’m definitely belabouring certain points, and normally upon noticing that I would start to feel deflated – but instead, I’m feeling motivated, because I’ve just finished the first chapter of this reboot and that means …
I have something to work with.
It feels real is what I’m saying, in a way that a lot of my experimental first chapters often don’t – in fact I can’t remember the last time I felt this way. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt this way, actually, like what I’ve written is an actual Thing from chapter 1, as opposed to having to wait until either I’m almost finished or actually finished and looking back on it. I feel like I’ve just leveled up or something.
Time to grind some more XP.
This is quite startling, to be honest.
As it turns out, I had more to say than I thought I did in this first chapter, but it also kind of ruined that feeling of it being “real” that I had when I put it down the other day. All in all, though, this still feels like it’s heading in a good direction, one that I want to continue following in.
And it’s my shitty YA werewolf novel. How did this happen? Yes, it’s a reboot rather than a revision, so perhaps continuing to refer to it as my shitty YA werewolf novel is something I should stop doing. Though I still feel the description fits.
And while I do feel like I miss that sense of it being “real” from yesterday, I also now feel excited to get on to chapter 2, and for that to become “real”.
I’d been hoping, fantasising about getting that feeling of giddy excitement that I had when I first embarked on this project back in 2015, and that hasn’t happened – instead, I have a new feeling of giddy excitement, and it’s not for the writing process that I’m using, not for the fact that I’m forcing myself to write really fast and thoughtlessly and as a result also permitting myself to write whatever the hell I want with no judgement. I’m excited that I have a story to tell, and that I’m telling it.
Like, shit, when is the last time I felt this way?
I honestly think I haven’t felt this way since I was 13 years old, and decided that I wanted to be a writer.
And having now written it down and finding that a mild breeze has not blown it away, I’m taking that to be true.
I have wanted to feel this way for a really long time. I’ve obsessed over it, how to get it back, how to engineer circumstances to cause it to happen to me again. I’ve tried to come up with the perfect story, the most “me” story I could think of, tried to just let myself do whatever and have total freedom, tried to make myself stick to rigid schedules and regimens of writing to achieve this goal. And now I have no idea how to explain how this has happened, how to break it down into a formula so that I can repeat the experiment again in the future. I just know that I’m feeling it now, and that it’s fucking great and I’ll probably end up crying at some point in the near future because of it.
And really, isn’t that good enough?
I think it is.
Didn’t end up crying, as it turns out, and the feeling is gone – but I’m fine with it, and that’s a first.
I’m fine with it because I’m pretty sure I’ll get it back again, sooner or later, because the one thing that I know about it is that it comes to me when I’m writing something that means something to me. And I feel like I’m getting a bit better at doing that.
For instance, today I did not work at all on the Wolf Gang reboot – but I did finally write out a film trailer that I dreamt up one day and served as more or less the main premise for the dark high fantasy comedy trope-playground I think I’ve mentioned obliquely a few times over the course of this year. I’ve tried to write it a few times and always gotten tripped up by my own overly-literal brain, trying to make me be all linear and fact-checking and proof-based and shit. However, as it turns out, it was actually very easy to make myself write this trailer, and I’m starting to think that being literal-minded is actually an advantage when it comes to writing down literally what I have in mind. I’ve always thought it was a weakness of mine, a personality flaw, a hindrance to my creative capacity – now, I’m starting to see how it can be an extremely useful tool, and (really obvious how-did-I-not-think-of-this-before) ways that I can turn this perceived weakness into a strength.
It also makes me want to work on this dark high fantasy comedy trope-playground project a bit more – I do think that my Wolf Gang reboot holds the majority share in my creative stock right now, but then again, I’ve always wanted to find a way to be working on more than one thing at a time and make it work.
I care about both of these projects is the point. I’ve been looking for a story that feels like it’s “mine” all year, and that was something quite specific, something I thought I would recognise when I found it. But I get the feeling that I was right when I started thinking that maybe it’s just about commitment, that if you stick with something and make the decision to hold to it, that’s where a sense of purpose and fulfillment comes from.
And of course, both of these stories are mine.
Meh, whatever. I should probably give up on trying to figure out how my brain works at this point, and just appreciate that over the years I’ve found some ways to get what I want out of the process. Also to appreciate how much fucking writing I’ve gotten done this week already. Not just time, but word-count too, really does fly when you’re having fun.
I like it a lot when writing is fun.
Back to werewolf shenanigans.
This was supposed to be a horror reboot, but it turns out that it’s just a slightly less intentionally tropey shitty YA novel so far – which is okay. I’m fine with just having horror elements and trying to do them justice. So far it’s just the main dude complaining about his unrequited crush on his best friend, and before you ask if this is even remotely interesting the answer is that the best friend is a girl. I use the term shitty YA werewolf novel for a reason, folks.
But it’s getting written, and tomorrow I’ll probably start re-writing what I’ve written tonight purely because it’s not what I had in mind and feels like I’m getting off-track. I had a couple of false starts before I found my way to what is currently chapter 1, so I’m fine doing the same thing with chapter 2, and however many other chapters need a bit of troubleshooting before they find their identity. Part of it is also that, well, this story is uninteresting, and I have some ideas of how I can change that which I’d like to explore.
Or not. Whatever.
So maybe this reboot isn’t as clear in my mind as I treat it as though it is. I thought for sure I had a scene to write, a determined sequence of events that could not happen any other way, and yet instead what came out was some out-of-left-field mess that I now have to deal with one way or another, and it’s just so …
It’s writing. It’s all writing. This is what writing is; this is what writing has always been and always will be, and the only difference between it working or not is sticking with it until it does.
Or having a plan but fuck that shit I ain’t getting paid for this!
Weekly Total: 8886
Well, hello to you, too.
I know I’ve hit 10k+ like one week out of four for the past few months; it’s a thing that I can still manage, and while the inspiration has certainly worn off a bit by now I think this week has been a really good momentum-growing endeavour. I don’t quite know what the best approach is for the werewolf reboot, or the high fantasy trope playground that is also my compromise to the part of myself that wants to fix Suicide Squad by writing a fix-fic, but the momentum is there, the ideas are still forming, and I’m writing, so it’s happening.
Though I do need to get back on track with Mark and Jessie. I really do think at this point that re-reading it is more or less entirely pointless in terms of keeping things, so I will just try to get an overview of events written down and see what I can shift, what I want to delete from existence, and where new stuff that is not the most unbearable writing I have ever done can slot in.
And I need to see my doctor, because while the “bug” has more or less gone I still feel weird, and after this long that is concerning.
See you next week, if I’m still alive.