A few years ago I had written a short story titled Caught Between The Sunset. It was a first draft contained of 2600+ words. Almost every writer would agree that it takes 4-6 drafts (or more) for a polished story. After reading my short story, I discovered that the ending didn’t correlate with the theme as I intended. There were grammatical errors, and the majority of the story consisted of meanderings. I needed more dialogue, more white space. Perhaps another character paired with more drama. Listen, I just needed MORE. I need to make the reader cry. I need the reader to relate. Can you see my passion? Of course you can’t. But that’s okay because I’d rather you feel it.
I decided to tackle this story again. Yes, again. I forgot to mention that I *tried* to rewrite this monstrosity. It was last summer when I didn’t get very far. I mean, not even an inch beyond the first paragraph. I wasn’t batting the inner critic. The writing just didn’t meet my standards of what good writing is. But back to the word again, or the more appropriate verbiage: as of late. Or third time around, cross my fingers tightly or whatever suits your fancy. Oh boy, so I’m afraid I’ve reached yet another road block.
What’s that? You don’t believe me? Check this out:
THE FIRST PARAGRAPH BLUES
Draft I. (Promise not to laugh)
Julian was impossible since the first day . It was a late winter night when we came to know each other online. My eyes were heavy and I couldn’t fall asleep. For many nights I couldn’t rest until the sun rose above my bedroom window. I lay there sunken in my bed, staring at the ceiling— a far-gone glow of white. The brimmed silence drowned the rooms in my house, and it’s weight mirrored the darkness blotched in the thickest shade of coal. It’s beauty left me hung on a single-minded borderline thought, on making this perfect pitch permanent. And I wondered when my will that had drifted away would come back and load me with courage to end.
It was a cold winter night when I came to know Gideon Flint. If unacquainted prefaced his absence, impossible was the better word. But then, I hardly deserved to feel the sun melt the numbness encapsulating my limbs. I laid sunken on filthy bed sheets like a comatose patient . My pupils stung, I remember the white ceiling glowed harsh upon me in the darkness. I favored the shade of coal best. It mirrored the hallow well of my soul. If heaven had a heel then its weight pinned my chest.
(I have an uncanny skill with cramming a bunch of one-liners together)
Just a cold night alone like all the others. The madness spins again, it reels at the core of my mind like a freakish carousal. Each gallant horse is mounted by horned demons. Some of them wave their sharp talons as if they know me. Others shout come join us but I don’t shout back. I grip the razor inches from my wrist. The corners of my lips lift a little. I imagine the events leading up to my funeral, project the scenes on the white ceiling that seems miles high above me.
* * *
On top of rewriting this, I am working on a romance novel as well. Or I was…I don’t really know what the heck is going on here! I quit working on that because I’ve been consumed with this Caught Between The Demarcation Of Hell. My point to this entire post? Ask me that question tomorrow. I guess I’m entitled to rant, right? But wait twenty secs, I do have a question for you. I guess Danielle M. is on to something.
How long has your unfinished draft(s) been in a slush pile? I’m sure you’ve taken a peek at it from time to time. There is no greater feeling than being proud of yourself. Especially when you’ve stumbled on an old dusty draft. Elation floods your veins and tickles your insides. You have written something with great potential. You want to read more. You are grinning. No one but you created this and it’s fucking lovely. Perhaps I have reached a purpose here. Give yourself a pat on the back for creating a piece of work to call your own!
Anything worth doing is difficult.
P.S. Today, I drove past a man taking a stroll with his pit bull on cemetery grounds. He didn’t have a pooper bag in his hand. I kid you not. One could only speculate.