Did I Really Write That?

Sunday evening I decided to take a walk through time, back to some of the stories I started but never finished years ago.

What an odd sort of feeling.

I wonder if other writers see an evolution of sorts as they grow older, semi-wiser, and (hopefully) more confident and carefree. 

I started my first novel, Corn and Shadows, waaaay back in 2003.

Holy shit. I just reread what I just typed. 2003. Two years short of 20 years ago.

But I digress.

I’ve been done with my first novel for years now, sending it out now and then to publishers but planning on offering it for free on Amazon or something.

THAT novel sounded like me. It still does.

I wrote the follow up novel, Time and Shadows, back in 2006. That one is finished too, although I keep peeking at it now and then to “tidy” it up. 

I wrote a third novel, A Gentleman’s Shadows, telling the story of Time and Shadows from a 1895 male’s point of view, at the beginning of 2019. What a time jump. That book was fun. That was creative and curliqued as I tried to write as a turn of the century man would.

I’m happy with all three.

I’ve been thinking about the one I started back in 2007 about Emerald Le Roque and her following an Elven man through a cornfield to another world. I liked the idea — still do — but I think I got stuck on where to go once she got there. I think it was supposed to be super sexy but I ran out of super sex juice or something.

So I opened the dusty document and started reading it again, and I began to wonder — who wrote this? It isn’t the same style, the same cadence, the same feel as my previous works. 

I know every painting is different. Every vase and cup is different. Depending on the time of day, water quality, temperature, atmospheric pressure, lifestyle and mood, every creation is its own entity.

So it is with different writings from different periods. 

I wrote my latest novel about my “trip” to Paris in 2020. The second one is a work in progress, 2021. This style, too, is different, but in a much more positive way. It’s more upbeat, fun, and a tad more loopy than my other serious writings. 

But that middle one about Emerald …

I don’t think I’m going to try and resurrect that one. Good idea for the time — but the times are a changin’. ~I~ am a changin’.

It’s more like my writing attitude has changed. I’m not as sour with my point-of-view as I was back then. I am still an escapist, a fantasy writer, but I’m not as bitter with the world as my main character was/is. I can still write about loneliness and magic and relationships, and even make my main character a crab at first and a delight at the end.

But there’s something about that world way back then that doesn’t feel right anymore. No need to fix something that’s broke — it really is more like leaving her on her own to deal with the Elves in her own way.

Are you ever less-than-satisfied with projects you once started and thought about finishing?

Do you finish it anyway? Or move on to something different?

 

 

15 thoughts on “Did I Really Write That?

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your writing about your writing. 😁 I would love to read one of your novels. It is interesting how our writing can vary “depending on the time of day, water quality, temperature, atmospheric pressure, lifestyle and mood… ” I can relate to this. When I was on my writing retreat in the mountains I noticed how my writing would vary depending on my location. Some fantastical writing showed up when I was working in a coffee shop. Only two customers – me and a young man who was either talking to the barista or himself. He must have been sending out some interesting vibes. 😆 You made me laugh to with a few sentences, like this one, “I ran out of super sex juice or something.” I hate when that happens. 😂 Thanks for the engaging share.

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  2. I’ve been going through all my old stuff lately as well and I totally agree that sometimes you just have to let those characters figure out their own fates.

    I’ve also been gathering up years of poetry to finally get them into a book and this process doesn’t seem to be quite the same as going over old stories. Some of these 20 and 30 year old poems still resinate with me. And because of the nature of poetry they are also bringing back alot of memories some quite painful. But with this process I’m finding some healing of those old wounds and those old poems are priming the pump for a whole new batch of poems. All this while still working on my third novel.

    I sure would like to read about a woman following an elven man…Anywhere! Right up my alley.

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    1. I have a large pile of poetry on my desk and no idea what to do about it. While cleaning out old boxes of papers that were saved for some mysterious reason, some for decades, I kept coming across poems. Absolutely no clue that so many were written. Never considered myself a writer or a poet. So, the pile just sits there. I don’t actually think they’re good and know nothing about revision. Yet, can’t bring myself to shred them as some go back to childhood. Who knew?
      Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

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      1. Oh! Don’t throw them away! Type them up and put them in a folder on your computer! These poems meant something to you at one time — you may be passed the emotional trigger for a particular poem, but your writing will communicate the beauty and emotion of the time. I know people who publish a chapbook of their poems — some sell them, others just give them away. It feels good to write and to do something with that writing. And P.S. — you ARE allowed to tinker with them (especially with a word choice or grammatical error) as you retype and save them……

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  3. Great topic and perfect for this Mercury retrograde period. I had begun a piece many years ago that was somewhat based on a true story but lost interest. Since youth I thought there was a book in me, that this desire was given to me by my soul. At this point I am not motivated nor do I have a strong book idea. Yet, I know this might change because inspiration is a mystery to me and I do not know how my own story will ultimately play out.

    blessings,
    Linda

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    1. I love this. I feel the same way. I feel that if there’s a story there pounding its way out, it will come out. But this power is also time sensitive. The moment you feel strongly about a topic you should find a way to write it. For the power behind it will eventually give way to other powerful feelings. That was Corn and Shadows. Based on a character from a role playing game, I was passionate at the time to tell her story. I don’t think I’d feel nearly as strong these days.

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  4. Depends on why I’m doing them. If it’s writing I might put it aside because it just doesn’t interest me any more. Pushing to finish something you hate is counterproductive

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    1. I think it’s not so much the Era as the tone of the beginning of the book. I have another where the main character has a bad attitude, but I think it’s way too much angst up front for way too long. Funny how at one time I thought it was pretty good, though!

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