"Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." -Harriet Beecher Stowe
Here's what I mean, when I approach the roller coaster I've been waiting in line for the past fifty million hours to ride I'm excited and staring at it in wonder, silently calculating all the things that will undoubtedly go wrong while I'm twenty bazillion feet above the ground. Once visions of my imminent demise have abated I, quite naturally, enthusiastically hop into the ride that will become the instrument of my death.
When the ride begins it's wonderful; I'm being pushed towards the sky, I feel like I'm flying and it's basically AMAZING.
Suddenly, I'm no longer flying, I'm falling and screaming, maybe peeing my pants a little, and oh...what's that?
That was my lunch.
Then the roller coaster is over. I stumble out of my seat, cross eyed, aching, and jonesing to ride it again.
That's pretty much how completing my first manuscript went. I approached the writing project with eagerness and TONS UPON TONS OF TREPIDATION.
Every time I stared into that blank Word document that was supposed to be Chapter One of my story, I saw myself failing by never completing it, and dying alone because surely that's what an uncompleted writing project would lead to: a spinsterly death.
Once visions of my sure failure and death abated, I dove in and began to type. It was wonderful! I'd sit there, writing for hours at a time, forgetting to comb my hair, and beginning to resemble one of those characters that Johnny Depp or Melissa McCarthy love to play. I was so into my story and characters, that writing about them made me feel like I was flying!
Well, these lovely days of inspiration were often followed by horrible periods of writer's block, which is basically like waking up after a good night's sleep and finding that you're, for some strange reason, stuck inside of a coffin that's been buried underground. Claustrophobic and scared, you don't see how you'll ever get out and you feel doomed to live out the rest of your days in this coffin. So that was fun...
When I typed the very last word in the very last chapter of my manuscript, I was relieved, and just...happy. I ate chocolate, danced around the house for joy, and finally combed my hair.
A few days later, I reread my work, realized how crappy it was and had this urge to:
A. Cry and then
B. Engage in a second dance of joy because I'd get to rewrite pretty much everything which was going to be fun because I actually really enjoy writing.
See how all of that almost doesn't make sense?
The main thing to remember is to not let one of the soul-crushing moments move you to give up. Keep writing, even if you don't think your writing is any good. (most likely it is at least somewhat good and after you write it, you can fix it to make it FANTASTICALLY GOOD!)
The main thing is: Keep Writing.
Emotions are fleeting, meaning moments of sadness will dissipate. But your writing talent is not fleeting, it's an integral part of who you are; you are a writer, you should write.
If you start to feel like everything you're writing is crap, then write a story about a freaking writer who thinks everything s/he writes is crap.
Just don't stop writing.
When a new writer refuses to give up, they're rewarded with a completed story.
This is what happened for Antoinette Houston, author of the exciting YA fantasy novel, Red Summer.
Q: First, we'd like to get to know you a little bit. Where are you from in the the world and what do you like to do in your spare time (other than write stories of course lol)?
A: Born in El Paso, Tx. Raised in Union City, Ga. and live in Hampton, Ga. Spare time includes reading (lots of stuff) I'm into manga, anime, comics i loooove music mostly alternative and metal. I gotta make soundtracks for the different moods and scenes in my stories. I enjoy cooking and crafting, lately I've started leather working, making book marks and jewelry.
Q: Who is one of your favorite fictional characters and why?
A: My fave(s) are Storm: Ororo Munroe, Spiral- I love strong females. Not too mouthy like myself, but strong or regal in the way they hold themselves.
Q: What authors inspire you?
A: Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, Steve Perry, Steven R Boyett - these are the top for me
Q: Who contributed to your love of reading and writing? What is Red Summer's plot?
A: My Dad, started reading stuff that was too old for my age group in elementary, the covers of most of my Dad's stuff was so much more intriguing than what was on the covers of the books in the school library. Bigger words and up to a thousand more pages of story! I love books that could hurt you if you dropped it on your foot.
Q: What is Red Summer's plot?
A: Red Summer is a paranormal story about a boy named Jason with special abilities being taken and being used to pass those abilities onto others. the process is not an easy one and causes him to have strong hatred for those that experimented on him and those that received the fantastic results of his torture. Bobby is one of these fantastic results of Jason's experimentation. It's about the handful of kids that find out that the normal lives they think they're living is a lie. That because of Bobby they have been living their high school lives over and over for the past 18 years. In his attempt to impress the love of his life (Rita) all those years ago he causes a series of horrible events to ensue. The possession of Rita and others like himself and the detrimental fallout of Jason's revenge. With dire casualties Bobby is able to subdue Jason's ire.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about Red Summer's main character?
A: The main character is Rita or Red as her boyfriend likes to call her. We start off with her as the story revolves around her. She's the love interest of Bobby and Wil and the key to Jason's revival. She's misunderstood and thought of as mean and violent when she simply wants to know where her life is going, where she came from and, where her future will lead her now that she's finished with high school (again).
Q: What was the most difficult part of writing the story?
A: Finally finishing.
Q: What do you want people to take away from your work?
A: Adventure, fun, and enjoyment in my unique imagination. :P
Q: What advice would you give to anyone who is struggling to complete their first novel?
A: Keep struggling, it wont get realized if you give up.
"Keep struggling, it won't get realized if you give up." These are words for a new writer to live by.
Thanks for stopping by to check out today's post and I hope you have a great time writing your current WIP!
When you want to take a break from it and read a story, swing by amazon.com to purchase a copy of Antoinette Houston's new book, Red Summer, which is currently available for only $0.99.