Hello, all! It most definitely has been a while—nearly a month, in fact! I’m not going to waste too much time welcoming you back or spilling about the swirl of ideas in my mind on my trip to Israel and Palestine. (It was amazing by the way!) I’m not even going to tell you about the college mayhem us seniors have been struggling through for a week and a half. I’m not going to mention that everything is looking up and the end of the year is coming, which means summer is on its way! No, I’m not even going to touch on that.
The writer’s block I’ve been suffering from for the past month has finally gone away! In the time that I was trapped in its haze, however, I worked on a wide range of writing exercises, which helped me with my writing this story and my writing skills as a whole. For instance, I worked a lot on character dimensionality. In one exercise I completed, I made a list of things that would be found in the backpack of my main character, Ashton. The following is the list I created; a few of the objects help allude to bits and pieces of his personality and quirks.
- A Fisherman’s pocket knife with Vermont plastered in fine print on the front
- Crumpled letters addressed to his incarcerated cousin, Andre
- 5 $10 bills, 3 $1’s, and two quarters in a brown leather Coach wallet
- Loose change
- Anatomy and Physiology textbook
- Empty gum wrappers with drawings and notes on the inside
- Selam’s BHS name-tag from Orientation Day
- A somewhat spoiled banana
- Calculus 112A notes
- Dream journal
- Family photo
- Tampons and pads (for Selam)
- Trojan condoms
- MacBook Retina Display and charger
- 3 pencils broken in half, 4 mechanical pencils without lead, 2 dried out pens, and 3 working pens with red, blue, and black ink
- Gatorade water bottle filled with Sprite
- Red rosary beads necklace
- Portable charger for phone
- Empty composition notebook
- Small circular mirror
- Soft-tooth brush and Colgate Optic White toothpaste
Speaking of main characters and depth, I have decided to redo my first chapter. Rather than following my usual writing routine in which I layout the beginning and end and proceed to fill in the plot, I will follow the traditional writing technique of starting from the beginning. That being said, I am making some major changes to my story.
Yes, I know. You may be saying to yourself, “OMG, she’s actually going to toss her last post’s excerpt away because she wasn’t feeling it?” Well, the simple answer is yes, yes I am. I read an article from a Positive Writer blog written by Bryan Hutchinson. In his article, Hutchinson reviewed the very usual fear shared amongst writers regarding starting over. The title of the article basically sums everything up. Starting Over is Essential to Your Creativity and Success, so yes, I am starting over to attain my best product. I have written a few chapters and should have at least 10 chapters finished by the end of the month.
I’m now going to frame it as a love story and have loads of detail and real life experiences unravel from the original romance-based story line. One of the biggest changes I’m making is that my main character is now a male. His age ranges throughout the book, as it will consist of many flash-forwards, flashbacks, and what I like to call flash-sideways. Here is a quick snippet!
Ashton grew up learning that green meant death. How many books had he read in which a green cloud of smoke trickled from witches’ fingers through the town, stripping away the very essence of good from the people? How many times did his mother refer to greed as the green-eyed monster? How many sleepless nights did he lay awake in his own bed thinking that the green monsters his father described moments ago were a mere two feet beneath him, under the mattress, waiting to eat him alive as he slept? How many green snakes on Medusa’s head did he have to count while watching Clash of the Titans to confuse the smooth emerald coloring of his wall with the scaly green texture of the serpents he shrunk away from? As a child, green meant death.
Sometimes you just have to hit the reset button.
Until next week!