Thursday, September 18, 2014

Something VERY Different

           Well, contrary to what Randy said in his post, I am not a gay uncle to Heather’s successful new launch of her novel.  It’s funny, but I think Mike, Randy, and I are more excited about it than she is.  She did a fabulous job and should be proud of her work and I for one am happy to have contributed some time critiquing along the way.  If you have a chance, check out her work.  It was well done.  I look forward to what comes next.

            As for me, yes I am wrapping things up on The Zealot.  It should be released to Amazon in the next 30 days or so.  As Heather will tell you, there are a ton of little details to attend to.  Some of them are hung up by people out of your control.

            In the meantime, I have moved on.  Heather talked about her next project in her post and I have begun mine.  I actually began mine many months ago and stopped.  My project is my memoir, It’s probably Just Stress.  It will be based on my years of pain and depression.  I began it once before.  This is a huge departure for me, as far as writing goes.  To write about myself, to what I lived through and to dig up things I would rather not go through again, is not easy.

            On the technical side of things, as I began to write, I realized pretty fast that I sucked at creative non-fiction.  I began at the beginning and soon it read as an autobiography and was very boring.  In a short period of time I had 125 pages whipped out, but half of it was pure crap, with very little pertaining to how I got to my problems and the main point of the story itself.

            I went to a friend for suggestions on memoirs and he referred me to a friend of his who taught at a local university.  I contacted her and told her of my problems.  She was great and gave me several books on the subject to read.  I bought and downloaded the following ones; The Memoir and The Memoirist, by Thomas Larson.  This book was about HOW to write memoirs.  Then came two more books, Darkness Visible by William Styron (fantastic), and The Situation and The Story by Vivian Gornick.  Once I read the books, I realized I was way off.  A memoir is not an autobiography.  I stopped writing.  I knew I couldn’t use anything I had done so far.  I needed to start from scratch.  One of the books I read really showed the darkness I felt during my years.  That clicked inside me.  That was exactly the way I wanted my story to come out. 

            I turned to my other teacher next, Heather.  The other question I had in my head was, “Where in the story do I start?”  Her answer was pretty simple.  She answered with a question.  She wanted to know when most of the story takes place.  Is there a timeframe that is powerful that you would spend most of your time on?  Where is most of the darkness?  Start there and then use other chapters to go back and forth.  Great advice.

            I have my plan and now have started to write again.  I have my vision in my head.  This is so much different from a novel.  There are no characters.  There is no plot.  I don’t have to figure out twists along the way. 
            I do have some challenges.  Will my story be unique?  Will I be able to tell my story in such a way to keep the reader interested?  Time will tell.  Honestly, I’m still not even sure this book will even see the light of day.  I went through months of therapy after coming out of pain, while being in what I called “The Wall”.  I probably should still be in therapy.  This writing of the book will, I hope, be a cleansing for me.  There is still hurt and anger inside me and I have lashed out at times, emotions I can’t even explain, but I know come from “The Wall”.  I’m healing, but not like I should.  This book is very important to me.  

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