Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Weird Twist of Fate

Remember how I got the book just right the other day? Well, that copy is in the compost pile now. If anyone reads this blog and is thinking of writing, that's pretty much how it goes. You think you have just the right voice, the setting, the whole gestalt of it comes together, then --

Something happens and you know what you wrote lacks something.

Usually what it lacks is an authentic feel. I didn't know this until about ten days ago when, through some pretty strange circumstances, I ended up talking to kids who self harm in a hospital.

They were all in therapy and really open in the group. I realized that my little field and school and girl in the story were all pretty mild. The Disney version of the self harming crowd, and if you have read my stuff, you know it's far, far away from Disney anything.

I think I was being too tepid. After talking to the kids, this girl looked at me and said, "None of the books get it right." I nodded. I didn't tell them I wrote, but I asked them if they had read any of the books out there and that was her response.

So, home and the next morning up early and the decision to hit delete, compost the pages and start yet again.

I wrote five pages in about twenty minutes. A lot of it was dialog so it went faster than a narrative would. I think I finally got it right, or close.

Once the beginning is right, the rest falls into place -- at least the rest gets easier. But I think this version is a take.