Pages

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Biggest Writing Mistake (As posted at Khaalidah.com)

I was excited.
Malak, Honor, Alia
Malak, Honor, Alia
I had a character in mind and I could see her face.  She was a tall big-boned brown-skinned girl with attitude and an anger management problem.  Raised by a kindly old woman who kept stray children like someone else would keep stray cats, Honor was raised in a home with other orphan children like herself.  Despite this, Honor always felt alone and adrift without a family to call her own.
Honor In SInistral
Honor In Sinistral
Honor knew she had a twin brother named Truth somewhere out there.  If she could find him, he would be the family she didn't have.  If she could find him, she might learn why they had been seperated and why she couldn't remember her past.  Along with her brother, Honor hoped to learn the truth of her past, the meaning of her visions, and the reason she had supernatural powers.
Truth and Segher Satellite
Truth and Segher Satellite
This story, like so many that I dreamed of before, also serves as my own personal PSA, as it addresses in its way my fears about the environment, and cultural, racial and religious bigotry.  For me, writing is often an act of catharsis.
When I think about it, that story sounds pretty good, if I say so myself.
Honor, Malak, Alia at The Hole
Honor, Malak, Alia at The Hole
I designed a pretty slick looking blog (I thought) and I posted a chapter every two weeks with accompanying art.  I enjoyed hacking out this tale.  Hacking.  Yes.  Hacking is exactly what I was doing.  I was hacking this idea to bits.  I was slowly and systematically losing the best bits of this tale through forgetfulness and neglect and replacing those bits with…nothing.
Honor&Truth has so many plot holes I couldn't fill them with five tons of asphalt.
Here is why:
While H&T started with a phenomenal idea, I never completed even a cursory outline.  As a result H&T was directionless.  As a result the characters were too many and not well developed.  I wrote whatever came to mind.  This is fine, for a rough draft, but not for something that I intend to post online for the world to see.  In short H&T wasn't ready for primetime and neither was I.
Alif
Alif
What do I think of H&T today?  I still love the concept of this story at its most basic level.  I am still intrigued by the central characters and their personal dilemmas.  I'm not so sure about the direction they're traveling in though.
I've decided, after long lamentations and fear, and well, let me be honest, guilt, that this blog will have to go the way of the dinosaur.  I'm going to leave those old bones alone and build another stockier animal; one with staying power; one built to live in this day and age, in this climate and atmospere.  I won't let that baby out again until she is dressed in her finest and ready to showboat.
H&T is not a mistake but starting serial blog was my biggest writing mistake ever.  EVER.  I've learned a lesson and I'm proud to say so.  This has been terrific!
(I hope you'll follow my progress and my words at my new website. Look for H&T within the next year.)

2 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear that, K. Sorry also that I haven't commented here for awhile. 2012 has been filled with frenzies and distractions, and my own writing has been left by wayside for now. I've enjoyed your story for some time. Perhaps it's a mistake to see the webserial form as "finished product"; I've always seen it as a "process". A place to work out the bugs; to figure out how it all fits. No reason not to retro-fit and/or correct bits and pieces later: no internet law against that. But your opinion of your own work is paramount. I wish you good luck. You deserve it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi there lazlo
    Thanks for commenting.
    I can certainly understand the frenzy and distraction, which is part of the reason H&T has had to change.
    With my new efforts to promote my novel (published 4 years ago) and write actively and work, and blog, my time needed to be streamlined. Taking H&T where I want her to go, which is in quite a different direction than it is here, is part of my overall effort to simplify and "get it right", whatever "it" is.
    I do hope you'll stop my my new site now and again and keep your eyes open for the completed H&T in the near future.

    ReplyDelete