By Rosemary Lord
So, how d’you like our Blog’s new look?
We weren’t ready to call it a day! We just needed a change – a fresh view. And we have two new writers joining us in our blog sandbox: Hannah Dennison and Maggie King. What fun. Just in time for the holidays.
The holidays… so soon?! As we gallop towards the year end, one tries not to panic, not to think of all the things one had intended to do, to complete. But never quite got there. The short stories not written, the scattered memoir attempted, the unfinished novels. A half-finished website comes to my mind. Hmmm.
Perhaps, instead, stop for a moment to remember what we have accomplished. Fer starters – we’ve all written our Blogs for this shared writers’ venture. Look back at the unforeseen distractions life gave us. All the positive, unexpected things we’ve done this year. The new people we have met or old acquaintances with whom we’ve re-connected. Those shared memories are often inspiration for the next tome we attempt.
I’ve done masses of research for different projects – that’s always my favorite. Made wonderful discoveries that set my mind charging down different avenues. I’ve done a quick script outline for a couple of new projects – even if they’re not yet completed. Well, at least I started.
Lots of de-cluttering, re-decorating, re-planting, re-designing was accomplished with new, fresh eyes. Another diversion prevalent this year was travel. I think a lot of us, so relieved to be allowed out of our Covid-cages, have travelled far and wide. Therefore, we’ll forgive ourselves for that wonderful distraction and appreciate the terrific story ideas and new characters we have encountered along the way. Ideas and characters just waiting to be poured out onto the blank page.
I’ve been reading a lot, too. Especially on plane journeys. And, as the days get shorter, who doesn’t like to curl with a good book. (When I should have been finishing my writing!) I think my Kindle said 51 books this year! Although I have abandoned quite a few after a couple of chapters. And I have shelves of new REAL books!
I have re-read, for the umpteenth time, some of Rosamund Pilcher’s wonderful escapist novels. Her ‘Winter Solstice’ is especially timely. It’s about a group of strangers who find themselves stranded together in the snow over the Christmas holidays in Scotland.
But I’ve also been finding new, younger writers; lots of ‘finding-oneself’ novels set on far flung shores, many of them self-published, so they have a different voice, different settings and different styles. A different way of writing. It’s opened up my eyes to new options.
But I sometimes find myself getting frustrated at the endings. I like a satisfying ending. I want questions answered, problems solved and nuanced solutions to characters and relationships. But sometimes, in these new books, it’s as if the writer suddenly noticed their word-count and decided to jump to ‘The End.’
Hey! Not so quick! You can’t just hurry up and finish. That’s not fair!
The intrepid old standby, ‘Who? What? When? Where? Why?’ seems to be missing a syllable or two. The journey we create on the written page needs to lead us in that direction, that ties up all the bits and pieces. Instead I find myself asking – “but what about so-and-so?” Or, “How did that come about – that was quick!”
I’ve been tempted to write my own version – a new chapter of the book I’m reading, that really wraps up everything. And sometimes I have become so invested in characters, that I want to know more about them. Where did they go after that particular drama was solved. Again, my imagination has come up with intriguing storylines for the next episode in their lives.
I often get annoyed when film makers produce a copy-cat version of a classic movie. Well, a cheap, poor, knock-off, really. Why don’t they instead write and produce a sequel – or a prequel. That would be much more creative. Why don’t they use their imagination, instead of trying to duplicate someone else’s talent? Or why don’t they write a “What If…”? What if Romeo and Juliet had not died so young? Would they have lived happily ever after, with half a dozen children running around Verona? Would they have stayed together? What work or careers would they have pursued? That gets one thinking…
Do you ever think of writing a new ending to someone else’s story? Or even a new beginning. That’s even more important. There are a couple of characters I’ve encountered recently, that I’m thinking of ‘borrowing’ and installing them in a totally different book.
As you can see, my mind is all over the place at the moment. My unfinished To Do list lurks just outside of my grasp, with my promises of “- soon…any minute now…”
But I’m inspired by our New-Look Blog page and by my fresh, yet seasoned, eyes on my own writing, as we emerge from our Covid cocoon.
Refreshed. Re-energized. Ready for tomorrow. Ready to write some more – and keep reading….
(This blog entry was posted by Gayle Bartos-Pool for the wonderful Rosemary Lord. Thanks for dropping by.)