Fifty-Five and Counting…

by RS on September 12, 2016

The world works in mysterious ways. Cliché, right? Well, this year the Universe has proved that it is on my side. So many good things happened: from getting story assignments from Newsday to moving to Vermont and to having the opportunity to attend the second Writer Unboxed UnConference in November.

I am achieving my goals—albeit at a slower pace than I anticipated. Some of that has to do with how things work and some of it has to do with my own procrastination. I have fifty-five days to accomplish one major goal, and I am so close to achieving it, and that is…drumroll…finishing Julius.

Oh, I know you’re rolling your eyes and thinking, “Oh, yeah, we’ve read this before.” This time, though, I am near the final chapters and if I stick to my schedule I will have a complete manuscript by November 6th. However, a small reminder—Julius has gone through many completed versions. The issue was that each one had its on set of problems and needed to be fixed. Via all those revisions, I discovered that I have a story about loyalty to family and political beliefs as well as betrayal of family and political beliefs (sounds very Mario Puzo).

It’s taken me a long time to piece together the story I wanted to write, and what’s fascinating about the process was to see how both story and writer have evolved. One of my many challenges with this story was to present characters who are not flat cardboard cutouts, but actually flawed human beings. I’ve had to go back to the beginning and ask why they do what they do. In other words, my characters have been on the couch in deep analysis. What I discovered about Jake is that he’s not a selfish bastard, but suffers from a personality disorder. He is a narcissist. I also discovered that one of the so-called bad guys is not so bad—he has a conscience. So while I write new material and weave in these revisions, I discover certain elements within the story that are now surfacing. It is that cream rising to the top and it’s very good.

Thus, I still stand with that cliché that the world works in mysterious ways. The Universe as a muse is helping me finish my story.

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