I hate the holiday season. Not because of the festivities or the meanings behind them, but the rush-rush-rush mentality inherent in everyone. It seems like once Thanksgiving is comfortably behind everyone, there grows within each of us a sudden urge to do as many things as possible before December 25th. I hate it. I, too, have fallen prey to this urge, and in doing so my writing goals have been shattered one after another.
So, in keeping with the spirit of the season, I’ve drafted a letter to Santa:
For Christmas this year, all I want is more time. Forget this “peace on Earth” crap. Forget the requests for a stable economy and steady job market. I just want more time. I want it under the tree, wrapped in a neat little bow.
I want more time so I can finish my novel. Yes, I realize I started it back in February, but you don’t know what it’s like, Santa. You don’t know what it’s like to craft a story and reach a point at which you realize that what you’ve written isn’t the beginning, but fragments of the middle. You don’t know the heartbreak of discovering that you’re not even half way there. You don’t know the frustration of having a story bulging against the walls of your skull, ready to burst out into the world so everyone can see its brilliance. You don’t know how hard it is second-guessing yourself every step of the way. You don’t know the fatigue of working for a full day just to get the opportunity to sit down and work your second job, the one job you really love and want to do more than anything else in the world. You don’t know the disappointment that comes from striving every single day just to make it to the end so you can sit down to write, only to find you’re all tapped out.
No, Santa, you don’t know any of that. So, stop with the patronizing, stop with the suggestions of the latest gadget or toy, and just give me what I want: More time. If you can make reindeer fly, you can give me more time.
I doubt the Fat Man will get back to me on this, but at least I’ve put in my wish.
On a more serious level, I’ve tweaked an existing chapter into a more suitable prologue, and in doing so I’ve opened up a whole new can of worms. The problem lies in that I’ve begun the story after the point at which it should really begin. This means backtracking a bit, starting elsewhere, and displaying a certain protagonist in a more positive light so that his descent has more meaning. I want you, the reader, to empathize with this guy. Staring in media res doesn’t allow for that.
What’s this mean? It means I’ve got a shit ton of work to do, and little time in which to accomplish it. It’s frustrating because I feel as though everything I’ve spent the last year planning, plotting and writing is not even in a presentable form. It means I’m going to gut all 40k words, and add a few extra nuts and bolts to the mix. I realize it’s a huge pain in my ass to do this (I hate backtracking so much), but it’s necessary for the story to be properly told.
So, the writer must endure. Now let’s hope Santa fulfills my wish.
Until next rant,