Looking Back (Fearless)

It’s been a rough start to the new year. Work has been busy, yes, and social media has become a larger part of my job. Between that and homework home life, some things just need to get pushed to the side.

When life gets me down, I enjoy revisiting the stories that brought me joy, either in the creation, the characters, the story, or sometimes even just the memories of the process. Back in 2011, my NaNoWriMo project was a romance story called Fearless. I loved those characters so much, I returned to them in a 10-years-later glimpse in one of my “Finding Mister Wright” short stories (the story is no longer available online, but you can read about my reasons for writing it at the link). That’s not what this post is about, though.

Whenever I go back to older writing, I always get the urge to re-do it. In the case of Fearless, the story is already undergoing a major overhaul, but the guts of it are still there. The original scene below was one of the first things I wrote for this story, and it was conceived as a teaser opener, so online readers would know up-front what they were getting into. When I opened this up again the other day, I still liked it…but I knew it could use some work. The “rewrite” version below is not a final version, but I think it does do the job a bit better than the “original”. You’re welcome to read the comparison or skip over it; it’s there mostly as a personal prod that this is a work-in-progress that should get some of my attention.opening-rewrite

Most of my free reading time is devoted to pleasure books – on my bedside table right now are a Mankell Wallander crime book, Sapkowski’s second collection of The Witcher short stories, Glukhovsky’s Metro 2033, and a few others – but reading those stories of which I once felt proud for finishing gives me pleasure, too. Of course, it would be nice if someday some other person can enjoy a story I’ve written, but the journey is one of progress. I’ve said before that writing “The End” when we finish a story isn’t really The End. There’s a long road of re-reads, rewrites, and re-evaluations to be done. But it’s also fun just to play, and to wonder what could be.

So, I’m not dead…though, there are days when it feels like I’m not much more than that. As for you, dear friends, read well, write strong, and be excellent to each other out there. Your stories are worth telling.

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9 thoughts on “Looking Back (Fearless)

  1. What I find intriguing about the comparison is how you started out with a base of what is going on. In the rewrite, you give the scenery a life, with the “Accident and Emergency” sign “shouting.” So it’s not just a static scene, but something that’s happening, that’s living, and I think that’s helping me with my own problem with writing scenery that just feels static. So, thank you for that!

    Sorry to hear that the new year’s been a bit rough. I admire that you continue to keep busy, even when you’re not feeling up to it. I hope things get better for you, soon. :hugs:

    As for that last bit about stories never ending, I wonder how differently a lot of stories might be had their authors decided to go a certain route, or keep writing a story, or even just creating little snippets for it. It makes me think about how J.K. Rowling kept expanding her Harry Potter universe, to the point where, personally, I just sort of started getting a little tired of it. I enjoyed the seven book series, but when it just grew bigger and bigger, I just didn’t feel like keeping up anymore.

    I guess, what I like about having some gaps in my favorite stories is being able to get a little creative with them. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed the Persona series so much, because there were so many gaps to play around with. I wonder, should I ever get any readers for any original stories I write, if they would enjoy it if I didn’t expand on or fill in too many of those gaps, so that they had room to enjoy the stories in their own ways. Just a random thought.

    :hugs: You’re beautiful! Remember that!

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    • Thanks, spooney! :hugs:

      I didn’t expect anyone to read the comparison text, but thank you for taking the time to do so, and to offer some thoughts.

      I’m trying to make my prose more active. The first draft of that scene came from a NaNo, so it was all about just getting words down on the paper. I want readers to feel something for my characters, though, so I’m glad to hear that the rewrite has some strength to it.

      Speaking very generally, it’s boring to have someone’s life story told out to the minute. For myself, I like writing about events, and those don’t happen all together. I used to really enjoy writing the minutiae, but as I’ve gone on, I’ve tried to find ways to convey those tiny details around the larger conflicts. And as a reader, I appreciate a writer who doesn’t talk down to me. That’s my personal feeling, though. Some readers appreciate being told everything.

      Videogames, and RPGs in particular, tend to see-saw between telling too much, usually in info-dumps, and leaving a player scratching their head. Sometimes, though, they strike the right balance to ignite our imaginations and wonder what could have been. 🙂

      I’d like to see, too, what you decide to include and what you purposefully leave out of a story, and how your readers will take those gaps. We’ll only find out if you write them!

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  2. Yay for more ‘Fearless’! This story has always been a favorite of mine, as it shows a great journey for Ross and Amber and has some fun supporting cast. I’m always happy to know you’re still chomping at it to make it into the story you want to tell.

    As for what you’ve shown for the edits, I like most of it. There is only one bit to me that original stands out stronger in this version (which is totally just my opinion, so fee l free to take or leave!). That break in the paragraph where you have: “He hated it. Hated everything it was.” really stand out to me as both a grimacing moment for Ross and a solid emotional punch to let the reader know that only bad things are up ahead.

    Keep up your writing and editing! You’ve always us dedicated readers (like myself!).

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    • Thanks, shade!

      Fearless holds a special place in my heart, so it’s always wonderful to hear it touched others in some way, too. In Version 1.5, I tried to get out of being in Ross’s head so much, but Version 2.0 is seeing a lot more fun conflict earlier in the story. I am hoping to be able to share it again before too long!

      You know, I like that stand-out para, too. I can’t decide if it’s actually making an impact, or if it’s just me indulging in a call-out. I can get the emotion across other ways?

      I may not produce much these days, but I am still writing and editing – this story, the sci-fi adventure, and the next FMW short story. So, I’m keeping busy. Hopefully, I can put something out there soon, so I can still call myself a writer. 🙂

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  3. Revision is tough. When I reread published books of mine, I feel an urge to tweak things still. 😉 I guess that’s why they say authors abandon novels to be published. We can tinker forever. But that tinkering gets our writing better and better. It was 9 years before my first manuscript saw publication, but I think it’s a better book for it. 🙂

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    • You said it, Kourtney! I’m pretty good at straight-up free-writing, but revising takes a completely different part of my brain and skill set to do. Here’s to growth, though, right?

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  4. Great thoughts! When I read my old stuff, I almost always have the urge to rewrite. It’s only natural and part of our growth, I agree.
    I liked both of the versions of Fearless, though I think the newer one was more concise and to the point (Also, one of my character’s last name in my current WIP is Ross :)) When you write books, how do you write your first draft? Is it a crappy first draft or do you take the time to polish it up to your liking?

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    • Thanks for stopping in, Shakhzoda!

      I mostly free write drafts. I may go back if my train of thought doesn’t lead anywhere, or leads me into a corner, but generally speaking, I write until I hit the ending, or something that looks enough like an ending to satisfy me. Polishing happens in the second draft and beyond, which is why that newer version of Fearless reads as tighter; the earlier version is the first draft.

      Thanks again for dropping by, and for leaving your thoughts!

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