I’m stuck. I’m stuck and it makes me sick. I need to be writing my novel, but I’m stuck like Chris Farley in a little coat so, with my need to sling virtual ink onto digital dead trees, I’m writing this instead. Maybe you need some backstory.
We are so fucked. That’s all they need to know.
Okay, so my novel that is my current Work In Progress is in its 3rd evolution.
1st: I had this idea. An idea for a scene. A guy stuck in a room after breaking in, and an alarm with this red flashing light blaring in his face while he’s unable to escape.
2nd: My cousin, a game design student at the time, was supposed to come up with a story for a game. So being the cousin he is, and knowing that I’m this super badass writer that I am, he decided to collaborate with me and come up with some ideas for a game. And we did. And it was fucking awesome. Or at least it will be if we ever get around to making it. But in the midst of our evil genius master planning, I wrote a scene out of that that would serve as an opening cinematic for previously mentioned mythical game.
This scene was the one from the idea above. I wrote it, and it was awesome.
It was okaaaaay…
No it was awesome!
So I wrote the scene, and it became the first version of my first chapter, and the kickoff for a story that would consume me. I got the ultimate writers high and pounded out more words than I ever had before.
3rd: Then one day I had about nine chapters done. Nine glorious chapters. I was on a roll. But I’m a pantser. I had no real clear direction on where I was taking this masterful scene by scene creation. Then I started thinking.
I couldn’t shut my thoughts off. When I got home, and tried to go to sleep, Worst mistake ever… My mind was running a thousand miles per hour and there was no off switch. Through this experience, I had dare I say, an epiphany. So I had my phone, I turned on the voice recorder, and like a hippie, I spilled my thoughts into this audio device with no real intentions.
Then I start talking about my book and, like the determined hardcore writer that I am, I started plotting. I talked about the characters. I talked about the plot. I talked about so much stuff I had plans for. And then it came to me. I had it. I had the final scene in my head. It was genius. It was cliff hanger. It was the best ending EVER. So I began to steer my novel in this direction and I wrote about 5 more chapters.
4th A: During this time, I started writing a story about one of my antagonists that places him as the main character and is sort of as a rise to power. I’m a firm believer that every character is the main character of their own story, and that every story is equally awesome in its own way.
4th B: So here I am with these two related, but independent works in progress and I’m thinking about all the side stories I have in my head that are in this developing universe. Then I start thinking about Halo.
I don’t know if you’ve played Halo, read the books, watched the live action shorts, or flipped through the pages of the comic books. They also have an unbelievable podcast called Hunt the Truth. What I love about all of these things is that it’s all cannon. What happens in one affects events in the other or gets mentioned in another. I want that. I’m ambitious and going to dominate the world in that way. I want my own intertwined stories all on the same timeline and all playing off each other and always cannon and congruent.
Still the pantser that I am at heart, I had no outline to follow… No road map. I was in Miami and had to get to Seattle and all I knew was head North West. So I stopped writing. I started to sketch out the big picture, and in doing so I decided to make parts of it grittier. I even wrote a Prologue to set the tone from the beginning. I changed my MC’s back story. And in doing so, I decided to go back to the very beginning and “rewrite” every chapter. Not really rewrite, but change and add and delete whatever I had to, to make it fit in this new grander picture in my head.
In this process, I decided to kill someone I hadn’t previously killed.
Only writers won’t think this is weird.
I know, right?
I mean you think about killing people all the time.
In my books.
So I changed who a character was and I killed him. He literally has no face anymore. The problem is, his buddy in the next chapter is currently still the original version of himself. I can’t have that. So either I erase him and rewrite the chapter over from scratch, or I change him like I did the last guy. But the characters in this chapter don’t know he’s a bad guy like the character in the other chapter knew that guy now without a face was a bad guy and I know I lost you at the beginning but the point is that I have to delete a chapter and rewrite it entirely but I don’t wanna and this is my procrastination because once I drastically change this chapter, the ripple effect on the rest of my chapters will make my cry and I don’t want people to see me cry. It’s embarrassing. I’m a projectile crier. My tears shoot out like razor sharp water and have been known to kill complete strangers.
Oh well. Bring on the tears. Real mean cry too.
I’ll let you guys in on a secret.
This is gonna suck. Like majorly. But it’s gotta get done and I’m the guy that’s gotta do it. Stay tuned. I know one day people will pick up my book off of a shelf, take it home and read it, and never know this painful experience took place. But it did. This is my vain attempt at documenting it.
Your still procrastinating, asshole.
Well ladies and gentle people of my tribe, I hope you enjoy the outcome. I do this for you. And for this story that must be told.
Told you it was four.
I hate you.