Knowing when a story isn’t ready

The waters of publishing are filled with things that I don’t know and will never understand.

Finding my way in the world of publishing, writing and editing has brought me to the brink of insanity at times and has stressed the relationship I have with my wife and my most trusted writing adviser.

There are so many stories in my head, the one I chose to write over the last few months is one that I love and have had the most trouble writing. I wish I knew why I have trouble with it. It is somewhat personal, it deals with a lot of things that happened to me as a teenager and I want to write it but for some reason the words never come out.

It is the most beautiful story I’ve ever thought of and hate the idea of turning away from it again. For some reason this story is not ready. This is my tenth attempt at writing it, every time I write it I get a little closer to where I want it to be. Every time I put a little more of my soul into it and something better comes out of the story.

The story is a cross between “A Farewell to Arms” and “Looking for Alaska” it is heavily driven by music of the 90’s and I’m not sure why I’m even saying this but I love this story, I truly love it. This is the one story I want to write more than any other but can’t. I’ve tried so many times to write this story that I have every detail down so well that it drives me mad that I can’t write it.

When I sat down to write it I wrote a mere 8k (8,000) words in 6 weeks. I’m not sure if a part of me said I need to finish what I was writing at the time or whether the story needed something else or–and this is what I think–that maybe I was trying to make a novel out of a story that was only supposed to be a short story.

I am writing the story I put on the back burner to write the “farewell to arms/looking for Alaska” book. For no other reason than I can’t write it. I feel like I am letting someone down by doing this, she knows who she is. I also feel like I wasted her time and my wife’s time by trying to write what they said I should write. I know I should write that story, but today I began writing the one that was on the back burner and picked it up where I left off and I have fun writing again, the first time in the last two months that I’ve had fun writing.

The characters from the other story are still sitting on my flash drive waiting for their turn, but it’s not now.

I am truly frustrated by doing this. This story is beautiful and amazing and wonderful but I am stuck at 8k and it won’t move. I am 33k on the one I put on hold and I wrote 500 in twenty minutes today. I will come back to AaG soon, but for some reason it’s still not ready.


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2 Responses to Knowing when a story isn’t ready

  1. Joy says:

    It is so hard when writing something that is so close to who you are, like memoir about yourself or fiction that is close to your own life. Auto-fiction. Ha! Keep pushing because eventually your story will transcend the trenches. You will be on fire, it happens 😉 keep it up!

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