Rotten Tomatoes – a new candidate

Helga’s Post #8 — Collectively, there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth on our blog since it started. A quick review produced some real doozies. Like these: (by no means the unabridged collection)

– Traitorous Doubts: I could see it coming.  A wall.  A big one.

– Pages written to date: Zero! Which means by whatever formula you apply, I’m in trouble, with a capital “T”.

– I know, I should hunker down and write that novel, like my four writing partners. But…

– Worse yet, if I am to continue with my ‘true confessions’ I must admit to not having written a word since October 22nd.

– No further plots plotted, period, full stop.

– Next to “the dog ate my homework”, mine is probably the most common excuse of all time: I’m sick.

– But wait … do I really have 137 days? Of course not. There are at least 8 “holidays” over that period, when I am not likely to write a word.

And so on and so forth. What motivated me to look back instead of going forward?

Because – and this is the biggest confession until now, on the entire blog, one that would have a priest flee the confessional box, cassock fluttering wildly, a confession that will surely make you gasp collectively in disgust – one that…. no, wait. This sentence is getting way too long. ‘Must write short sentences’, gurus always tell their student writers.

So, to pick up the thread of the subject of this post – confession.  Reason I looked BACK at our posts was in hope of finding some solace, something comparable to what I have done, so as not to feel like an outcast.

You will agree, once you read on, that the Rotten Tomatoes Award (if one existed for authors) must without doubt, be conferred to me. At least that would be the case if the clock stops ticking now and we would compare progress as of today. Forget your extended periods of writers block, forgive yourself for tossing out 30 pages of your writing, ignore above mentioned citations of gnashing teeth, because this, esteemed colleagues and friends, is nothing compared to yours truly.

Before I go on (confessions never were my strong suit) this picture will help me explain. Or rather ease you into it. The 5 books (ah, the number 5 again: an omen?) are the bulk of my research for my NEW novel.

Yes. New as in new since earlier this week.

So, now it’s out. While you wring your hands and mutter disparaging remarks, let me explain. I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of my protagonist. She just wouldn’t shut up about how she is bored with me, and she wants to do something different, something more worthwhile than what I’d saddled her with. She had the nerve to visit me during all hours of the night with absurd statements like “I don’t want my lover to get a new kidney from an executed Chinese prisoner. Who wants to read about organ snatchers anyway? Been there, done that. How boring! How morose. Who would want to read that book?”

I just couldn’t get her to cooperate. Even after introducing another character, an intriguing sexy man, hoping I could con her. A guy most women would swoon over. But no, she didn’t want to speak to me any more. Dead silence. Writers block. Thick wall, much like Joe’s in his last post.

And then a new dawn. It came about over coffee with a friend. When she too agreed with my protagonist that this sounds like a really depressing book, I knew I had to make a change. Probably knew it all along, because my heart wasn’t in it. Because I found excuses not to write.

Out with the old, in with the new.

My new story, like my abandoned one, will be suspense, though nobody will snatch kidneys, livers, corneas and hearts from not-yet-really-dead people. But on a larger scale, it will be more sinister. In a less gory way, if you know what I mean. And there is hope in the end.

So for me, this is no longer a 5 month challenge. It’s a 3 month one. Given that I will be away for the month of December on another continent, where my writing time will be severely restricted, it’s more a 2 month challenge. And all I have to show for as of this moment, is an outline of an outline. And a protagonist that keeps following me. She wants a piece of the action. (Still working on the new villain).

You see why I chose the Rotten Tomatoes title? But I’ve made peace with my protagonist.

5 thoughts on “Rotten Tomatoes – a new candidate

  1. Oh, Helga! Fingers double crossed for you – when you do this (note: WHEN, not if) your partners need to take you out for a drink (or three). Hope you ALL treat each other when you’re all done – I still believe you can do it.

  2. Helga you’re the best. Here’s one thing I love about this post: you are our group’s champion realist, and all with good humour and refreshing honesty. I know this choice is setting you back in terms of time, but you’re so smart to recalibrate now. Writing a book takes far too much out of you to invest your time in a story you don’t really have heart for. The old axiom regarding change orders over the course of constructing a building warns that the cost of making a change can go up tenfold with each successive stage … so the cost of moving a wall at the end of the project might be 100 times more expensive than moving the wall at the plans stage. (Okay, builders, I might be wrong in the details here, but I think you’ll give me my point). I applaud your foresight and courage Helga … the timing will take care of itself. We’re ALL struggling with that, and believe me when I say I still think I’m last in line right now.

    • Thank you all for your comments. Silk, you put my thoughts into words that I could not have done as well as you did. I really needed this encouragement. Interestingly, my writing is suddenly going well, so I think I made the right decision. Probably at a price (at this pace I will likely be the last one in), but I am enjoying the process.

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