Lúnasa Days, Writing

Why aren’t the words right, cut deeper, are the words still there?

Image by Alex Campos

If it’s late and I’m alone and the mood is right, I’ll take a knife to my own skin and push. Sometimes I chicken out. It hurts so it’s hard to keep going.

That’s how I write.

Lúnasa Days was supposed to launch a month ago. Computer failure impossibled that. I was so relieved.

Many of you believe in this story, so much that you’re helping back it. That terrifies me. The story is in me, but to get it out—how? How much do I need to bleed? There’s just me and the keyboard. Sweating, wishing for a way out.

The manuscript is one-fourth done. Only one fourth, after so much time. There was more but it wasn’t right.

In a word document are a stack of notes I call the Whiteboard. Here is a cutting:

Our character is this 28 year old who feels lost. He can’t stand working at his job anymore and he feels like he lost his youth to it. Or like he will lose it if he doesn’t get out. He is casting around for any way to strike out and just be himself. Really, he values freedom more than anything else.

So he remembers how he used to do magic rituals. It was an exciting time of his life. He was never 100% sure if they worked or they’re just in his mind but he was doing something that really felt full of meaning. So he wants to see if he can make his living that way. It seems mysterious and exciting and fun.

But he also has this guilt about it. He doesn’t know if the spells will work. He’s concerned not only about his own freedom and success but wants to help others too. Maybe he doesn’t realize that at first but then his conscience kicks in. So he is in love with this cool lifestyle that he imagines, but he’s scared to start living it.

But then he starts to have real effects on people’s lives and it causes both him and them to panic. He didn’t really expect to make a difference, which is why he felt guilty, like a scam artist.

So does that make him a fraud at the beginning? Why should we like him? Why can he deceive people so readily? He has a background in marketing so maybe he was used to spinning things. But he has to hesitate if we the audience are going to like him. Maybe this is the first time he’s ever felt guilty about spinning something. Maybe it surprises even him. Also, everyone can relate to doubt. We all doubt our abilities.

I doubt mine right now. I sit down to write this character, this week of his life, this novella—and I doubt.

I will finish Lúnasa Days. I don’t know how quickly. I sent my patrons a short story as an apology gift; I hope you liked it. There will probably be more. Short stories are easy. They don’t take so much blood. But the book cuts deep. She drinks deep.

Thank you for believing in me. I don’t know why you do it, but thank you. I find the words, here and there, and when they come you make them matter. Thank you.

L Days cover_front only_half size

My book Lúnasa Days is available on Kindle and in paperback. Get your copy here.

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9 thoughts on “Why aren’t the words right, cut deeper, are the words still there?

  1. Beth says:

    You can do this, Drew. I know you can.

    I am reminded of a paper I was writing in college. The draft I had to turn in was a little “draftier” than my professor was comfortable with. I told her, “I know, it’s not hanging together yet. This is how it always goes with me. It just needs to find its voice. It’ll happen eventually.” She looked at me as if I were crazy. But when I got the A on the final paper, she wrote, “It found its voice.”

    You’ll get there…just try not to drive yourself crazy with pressure in the meantime. Trust yourself and your process. The book needs to take its own journey…just like you.

  2. Kate Jacob says:

    I agree with Beth, if you force a story it won’t work. One idea I have however to to ‘flesh out’ your main character more. If his pretend magic did work, why? Was there someone in his past who taught him magic? Someone he didin’t recognize as a master? Oh I could go on and on with ideas but this man came from somewhere with an interesting past, go back there and bring realization to him, then he will take you where you need to go. Hold it, I’ll finish the book – HA!

  3. *Hugs* *poke in the ribs* *noogie* lol. In my experience, the best medicine for stress’n out is laughter, and you might be needing someone to tease you now and then about how serious you take yourself :P Sure peeps are all behind you, but it doesn’t require you to bend over backwards because of it. Enjoy your time, and make it your time, not anyone else’s. Because as soon as it becomes someone else’s you start to lose out and begin to not value your time, and time is all we’ve got to live by – live yours truly as you wish to write, free. And as much as deadlines are a motivator, sometimes they hinder the real beauty trying to eek out. And I would hate it if your writing comes out not as you’d like because of this pressure. I think you’re audience can wait, because we love what you are offering and know that if done in your time it will be great and totally worth it :)

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