The Resurrection Project

Sounds so portentous as a title, doesn’t it? The only thing being resurrected is some old writing, so don’t worry, no zombies.

First, an apology. I haven’t been keeping up, and probably won’t be in the immediate future. Enough real-life stress hit me all at once to drop me to my knees, although it didn’t completely flatten me. My psychiatrist decided that, between that and my typically lower stress tolerance as days get shorter, we needed to try antidepressants again. Now, my earliest experiences were generally positive, good results with little or no side effects, but unfortunately they stop working for me after a while. I’m unsure whether my body is just rejecting anything new or whether the ones we’ve tried more recently are just harsher, but these days it tends to be little or no result and horrendous side effects. I spent most of October asleep, and the later part of it in pain every time I ate. Two weeks later, my body’s still trying to get past the effects, ie, sleeping a lot and eating very warily. Thus, it’s been difficult to come up with ideas for blog posts, let alone actually write them.

However, the worse I feel, the more my natural inclination is to run away mentally. I wasn’t feeling clear enough to do final YinYang revisions or work on the next novel. I could have worked on Gaia, my playground world.

Immediately after the previous blog post, though, I found myself wondering what would happen if I took the original ideas I had when I was 15 and tried to build something with them now, keeping to the spirit as much as possible but tweaking the details as necessary to turn it into something less crude and dramatically angsty. Many of the core ideas are sound, I just had no idea what to do with them at the time or how to express them with any subtlety. Like using the tools for painting a room to try to paint a detailed image, just not very successful.

So, I took a look at the setting and cultures in general, did some research (oh, how I love Wikipedia and the rest of the Internet, and being able to search for answers I would have had no access to at 15!), took some notes about old version vs how to restructure things to eliminate the worst flaws, picked a spot to start writing from… and started writing.

Since Oct 16th, I’ve written roughly 82k words. Better still, they’re all strung together into sentences and paragraphs that more or less make sense! I still need to fill in a couple of flashback chapters and I need to redo the ending which turned out excessively logical and reasonable to the point of being boring, but I don’t really expect that to take long. I don’t think I’m going to spend much time on heavy editing, probably only one or two thorough read-throughs, but once I get it finished I’ll make it available just for giggles. I might even go so far as to post the little that was ever typed of the original, or type a bit more, but that’s the stuff that made me laugh until I cried so don’t hold your breath. ;-) What I might do instead is a regular version and an annotated version that shows what I started with and how I changed it and why, if only to remind myself later.

There are lots more old ideas I can play with in the future, too. This has actually been a lot of fun, and an interesting challenge. In a sense, my Moonblood stories are a similar premise, since the core idea is from one I had in high school, but it never entirely died; there were sporadic attempts to rework it. However, the current version in many ways is closer to the spirit of the originals than any of the intervening and less successful attempts were. I’m sure there’s something to be learned from all this, some sort of insight into my own writing style, but it’s not jumping out at me just now.

If you’re at all curious, you can find my notes on the original and necessary changes to make here as a pdf via Dropbox.

Anyway, I’m sure the world will continue to spin while I’m not able to focus on blog posts, and I’ll get back to it as soon as I can. Meanwhile, back to trying to combine then and now into one reasonably seamless whole!

7 Comments

  1. I have tried twice now to write a book – the first was a horrible soppy romance that only got to page 6 which was saved on a floppy disk (a loooong time ago…) and has since gotten lost, and just recently a more drama-like novel-like thingy that just didn’t work out (got to page 3 or something).

    I discovered that writing is A LOT of work and time and frustration and if you can just hang in there for long enough to see it through, the rewards (just in response alone) is payment enough. I thought I had good ideas for my stories, but I just didn’t have what it takes to see it through – it seems I’m more of a reader than a writer…

    I kind of envy your steadfast tenacity towards your writing, commend you for it and wish you all the best. Looking forward to reading more of your work – seriously, my stash is running low! ;-)

    • I’m not sure it’s so much tenacity as need – I can’t NOT write.

      A million years ago, in a program in school when I was about, oh, twelve, a teacher suggested that since I loved to read so much and I needed to pick something to do for an independent study project, maybe I should try writing. It was fun but horrible, and so was the rest of the early stuff, but I kept messing around with it. A couple of years later, I hit on an idea that didn’t just peter out and die on me within a few pages (which everything to that point had done), but instead went on and on. It was, actually, an incredibly early incarnation of Mark and Val from Lamia, in a ghost story of sorts that was really MUCH too sophisticated an idea to handle well with the tools I had.

      That went a long way towards getting me hooked – but what grabbed hold of my soul was the first one I wrote set in a world of my own creation. It’s absolutely dreadful writing, but at the time, it came alive for me and I couldn’t stop, I just had to see what was going to happen next. The incredible high I got from feeling this story singing inside and trying to get out was, well… addictive. I had to feel it again, and again, and again, and I still can’t stop.

      Now, I can sit and write and it just pours out as fast as I can write or type. The earliest ones weren’t like that, though. I have a stack of stuff that’s generally under a dozen pages, sometimes only one or two, that seemed cool at first but just wouldn’t go anywhere. It still happens, although less often because I have a better sense these days of whether it will come to life and a better chance of making something borderline work.

      On the other hand, since it along with the purrkids dominates my entire life to a degree that’s hard to really explain (I tend to see the entire world as research material, on some level), I can kinda see it being something to do if you have to but potentially too much work and too time consuming if you don’t. :-)

      As for reading more… hm, did you get to Gaia yet? That one’s bottomless and endless. I’m currently experiencing multiple character groups battling in my head: the final draft of YinYang is done, I just need to clean up the formatting (and eventually make an epub version, though that involves at least a full day’s work). The resurrected old one made it to 81k words in a bit over 4 weeks, and needs a couple of flashback chapters added and the epilog/wrapup finished. Moonblood is starting to yell at me that it’s been waiting long enough; I need to know what the one after the current one is in order to finish it, but the one after that is also starting to nudge at me which is causing some interference – 3 Moonblood chapters at once? The next planned “serious” novel is starting to suggest that it’s been ignored long enough, and right on its heels is a spinoff new group of characters meant to explore a variant idea from that one. And, of course, the Gaia crew are nagging at me. How many is that? Enough to make the inside of my head an interesting place to be, I can tell you!

      Keep talking like that, though, and I’ll start sending you experimental and alternate versions and stuff like that. ;-)

      BTW, you might consider taking lunarmommy up on her Cheezpeeps offer – I did a pre-publishing read of the Lost Book of Angghird and also read one of the others, and they rock. :D I just have a little trouble getting outside my own long enough to visit someone else’s world!

      • A polite request… If you can, please add a “like” option in the comments and the posts, because I really liked your reply! :-)

        Maybe I’ll take the lazy way out & just hire someone to write for me – I just tell ’em the idea & they go with it! ;-)

        I HAVE taken a little baby step and started a kind of inspirational blog, though… Just haven’t worked up the courage to share it, yet. B-)

        Also, thank you – I just might dive into the world of Gaia during the holidays (with the in-laws…) or yoink LM’s latest book for some great reading! :-D

        • There actually was (and is) a Like on the posts already, but I just added the thumbs-up/thumbs-down to posts and comments and pages. :-)

          Blogging is a very different kind of writing, and in a lot of ways I personally find it harder – but then, I also find short stories hard, and what’s hard for one person is usually a piece of cake for someone else. I’ll be watching!

          And now, time to see if I can negotiate a truce between the various worlds in my head. LOL

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