A Novel’s Story, Part 2

The novel finished on my 13th birthday evolved with me throughout my teens. I would edit it furiously for months on end, be positive that I was finished with it, stuff it away for months or a year, and then get it out and start working on it again. I wrote other things: journals, essays for school, other stories. But the novel kept haunting me in the background. I never felt satisfied with it. The writing evolved as I grew up, and the characters began to take on more depth. The plot remained convoluted, and at the end of my teens, this was what led me to abandon my latest draft for what I thought was the last time.

I started college. I majored in English and wrote paper after paper on the books I studied. I took a creative nonfiction class and fell in love with that genre so much that I did an independent study. I discovered blogging and I enjoyed that too. It seemed easy to decide I had never been meant to write fiction: after all, what success had I ever had besides that novel with which I had never been satisfied?

I got married a year before my graduation and started blogging regularly. I graduated and was so burnt out on college papers that I couldn’t fathom doing anything but blog. I started having babies and for several years blogging was the way I wrote. Every so often I would open the file on my laptop that contained the myriad documents that held the various drafts written over nearly ten years. I would giggle and cringe my way through the early drafts. But sometimes as I perused the latest drafts a phrase or a description or an exchange of dialogue would catch my eye and I would think huh. That is really rather good. But then I would remind myself– I didn’t write fiction. Maybe someday when I was much older and didn’t have tiny children who devoured all my time and energy… but not now. And I would close the laptop, trying to ignore the sensation of being haunted by an unfinished story…

Click for Part 3

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