Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Change of Pace...

Well, since I've started this blog especially dedicated to all my creative endeavors, my creativity has put on cement shoes and is now swimming with the fishes.

Seriously, I feel like the crapity crapest poet on the planet. And it's making me afraid to write because I know I'll have to post it. And then the world (i.e. three people) will read it, point and laugh.

So to say I have writer's block is an understatement. I have writer's coma, or writer's amnesia, or writer's "Holy Moly! What was I thinking? Me? A writer! You've got to be kidding!"

In order to get myself out of this phase (fingers crossed that it's only temporary), I thought I would switch gears. Mix it up a bit. Not think about poetry. In fact, completely forget that I ever thought I wanted to be a poet.

Don't worry though. I'm still going to share something painfully bad exposing. That's what this blog is for, after all!

Now, you all (the three of you) know that I participated in NaNoWriMo in November and wrote a novel. Well, before I wrote that one, I had started another. And, recently I've been working on it a bit, trying to decide if it was worth continuing.

It's a novel about my great-grandma’s experience of being in a small North Carolina town in the early 1900’s, and dealing with the fact that she was a product of rape (and that her mother was mentally handicapped), and the journey she embarks on to discover the truth of who she is. The book is part family history, and part fiction.

So, I thought I would share some of it with you. That way you can tell me if you think it's worth the bother of all the research it's going to require.

Keep in mind this is a VERY rough draft. As in, a lot of it will be tossed as I continue to revise it.

I guess I'll stop talking about it now, and just let you read it.


When you find you’re a product of rape, and how that rape happened, it changes the world. Really. Now, I’m not saying that the sun stops being bright yellow or the green grass turns bleak, but it does color other parts of life—mostly, what you think about yourself and how you fit inside, way down deep where there’s no wind, only a stillness that tells you who you are and where you belong. So, I guess it doesn’t so much as change the world, but changes you in the world.

At least that’s what happened to me. And it’s kind of funny when I look back on it. I thought that finding out the truth about who I was and where I came from would give me a sense of everything else. And with that knowledge in my hands, I would be able to be me—at last—and the life that had been living me wouldn’t be real anymore because I was finally real.

But all the truth did was add to my already unknowness. Now, don’t get me wrong, it did provide some fundamental answers. It explained how I found myself in an orphanage on the outskirts of Franklin County in North Carolina, and it also answered why nobody ever loved me. But it didn’t tell me what I was hoping for. It’s a hope that all us orphans dreamt about—that our families lost us, not left us. And that if they only knew where we were, they’d pick us up quicker than coins at a card game. But, all the truth did was tell me what I feared—that I was left and I was nobody.

Stay tuned for Part II...


Rachel said...

I'm already hooked by the story and I want more. Although I think you need to give her a more distinct voice. I know it's only 3 paragraphs but it has a very modern sound to it and if it's set in 1910 it needs to reflect that. It always bothers me when I'm reading a book and get a setting or an image in my head and then 10 pages into it find out that it's all wrong. The voice will probably come with more research.

Liz W. said...

Yah. I know what you're saying. I thought about that when I was writing it.

And, to make it even more complicated, she's telling this story as a reflection, some 40 years later. So, I'm trying to figure out if her voice would be more 1950's-ish, or if she would retain the voice of her younger self.

And how do you do that anyway? (Do you know of any books that do something similar that I could read?)

As I was thinking about all this, I was getting overwhelmed (which is why I haven't bothered to check out any books on it yet becuase I wasn't sure if it was worth the hassle).

I've decided my main goal is to first flesh out the ideas/plot. Then, if it seems to be an okay idea, I'll have to start the research. Character authenticity is very vital to me.

I could use your help if/when I continue with the story.

Writing workshop group, maybe?

Amanda said...

I'm with Rachel. I want more. I do feel that way about everything that you have written so far, but i think this story could be very compelling! Anxiously awaiting Part II.

Amanda said...
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Laura said...

I'm sure you get sick of hearing "I agree with what everyone else said", but I do. I was thinking the same thing as Rachel though. I know it wasn't dialogue, just thoughts, but I was expecting an accent or a Southern sort of way about it. The story sounds right up my alley though. But you can only continue it if you let us read it!

And I still want more of Abbott by the way. You're mean that you teased us with a few paragraphs and then gipped us out of the rest! You have a very demanding audience...and we want more!

Heather said...

Ok, I'm not a literary genius like the rest of your readers probably are...but I, too, am hooked! (As usual.) You pulled me right into this, and I'm excited to read the rest.
I know you said you had lots of rewriting to do, and you are going to work on the "voice" ...but for me there is just one awkward part: "...the life that had been living me wouldn’t be real anymore because I was finally real." It's a beautiful concept...but requires too much thought for my simple mind. ...I dont know how to (for lack of a better word:) fix it, so you can totally ignore me. I wont be hurt at all.

themayerfamily said...

You are so brave Liz. I'm writing a novel too, but i'm not brave enought to let people read it yet. I don't have any suggestions except please write more. I know for me at first I just want to get it down. With the voice suggestion, I know I just listen to how they talk in my head--yeah, it's wierd, I know.