Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Perspective – A bit of a ramble.

I have millions of stories to tell.

No joke. True story. Most of them I’ll never actually get to tell, though.


Perspective. (or lack thereof, to more honest)

I have solid characters with well-defined histories, rich lives, and strong voices. These characters have things to do, places to go, people to meet. These activities lead to wonderful development and plot arcs both big and small weaving together into a tapestry of beautiful fiction… tear jerking fiction… heart pounding fiction… inspirational fiction… that will never be read by a single reader.

Again, Why? Simply put, because I can’t find the perspective with which to tell the story to the reader. 

Sound silly? Well, maybe to you.

You see I have to find that “window” into the story that makes it interesting to read. I can sit for hours and map out all the facts and events that the characters will encounter on their emotional or physical journey. If I don’t know what order to bleed those facts onto a page, and how to best present the scenes that must unfold to make the plotline interesting and engaging then I can’t “give birth” to the story… ever.

It’s frustrating, to say the least.

There are times that I’ll think I’ve got it. I’m just sure that I’ve got it all worked out and I’ll start writing, only to find after 40-60k words that I’m still in love with the story… but this telling of it just isn’t working.

What do I do then, you may (or may not) ask?

I file it away to come back to later. I may get a flash of inspiration that lights the way to a successful way to achieve a working narrative. I may simply re-read it and realize where the issue was and correct it. I might also let it sit so long that someone else tells a remarkable similar story, leaving me with no interest to continue working on it. (In that last case I often find that the piece gets cannibalized for its best and most juicy bits into other things I’ve working on. 

If you are a writer, you may have had to deal with exactly the same issue, and you can appreciate this. If you are a writer and you have never had to deal with this… I envy you... and it’s likely I would wish ill upon you at 4am, on some random day, after being awake for three days and hitting the wall at 76k words… just sayin.

If you are not a writer, you may never have given thought to the countless stories that are never told by current authors as well as those who’ve gone before. I believe it is something to consider, however, when reading a written work you enjoy. Not ‘How many stories did this person write?’, but ‘How many stories did this person have to tell, that no one will ever get to read.’


  1. Not only do I completely agree with your struggles, I have currently been experiencing them. Just knowing this is more a "writer" problem and not just a "me" problem has given me some inspiration to take a look at some things I just couldn't get off the ground and running (at least in any form that someone else would want to read).
    I happen to have another problem though that you do not seem to have and I wonder if any other authors have this issue of if it is just a "me" thing....I have thrown away sooo many ideas and rough drafts and even completed works that now I really wish I have saved. I have a tendency to pitch things when I am down on myself (this includes all my artistic endeavors not only writing) and while I am trying to learn to not do it anymore, there are so many things already lost to the dump because I didn't think anyone would ever appreciate them! Every once in a blue moon, someone I know will have something artistic I did or remember something much more vividly than I do and tell me how much they enjoyed it. In those moments, I truly want to kick myself for all the things that in hindsight had promise...and sometimes things that actually already had a small audience that appreciated them that I just refused to recognize at the time. I guess my point is that this blog has made me realize that I need to stop throwing away artistic things (even if I become a bit of a hoarder) and stop punishing myself for all the works already lost and realize I still have new ones in me! Thanks for the boost!

  2. From my earliest writing until I was about 25 I had the horrible habit of throwing away my work that I couldn't "get to work", or that I thought was just "not good enough". That's also not just you, either.

    I'm sure you and I are not the only two guilty of this... sadly.