Wednesday, 31 May 2017

What a difference the tense makes

I mentioned in a previous post the many false starts I've had lately, writing wise. At the time I thought I was past that, that I'd started something that would work out. Unfortunately that one didn't work either, and I was getting really frustrated. I'd been happy with some of the ideas I was working with, they seemed perfect, one is even something I've been playing around with for a couple of years. The other two that haven't worked out were ideas that I had while I was trying to aim at a particular thing. That may have been part of the problem, I usually just start writing and figure out the best plan for what to do with it once it's done. But this year I do have some goals in mind for what I'd like to write, and some of it is slightly different.

Already I've found that that can help, for instance, Away From Her was written with an anthology with a publisher in mind, and I self-published when it wasn't picked up. So far it is easily my most successful book. Still, this time around it isn't as easy going as that one was.

Last night, after several evenings of wishing I was writing, but not knowing where to begin, I once again started something new. It's from a rough plan that I wrote about six months ago, something that is connected to one of my novels, though it's too early to say what it is yet. Within the first page, I felt like something wasn't working, and that's when I realised what's been wrong this whole time; it's annoyingly simple. The tense.

For the projects I've tried and had to let go of for now, I had to try to write in the third tense. It doesn't come naturally to me, and it had been difficult but I hadn't noticed before that that was all that had held me back. As I'd been trying so hard with it, I automatically began this new project that way last night. Once I realised, and quickly changed the first page, I found I had a lot more to write.

It's frustrating how simple the solution actually was all along, but it's nice to know it isn't necessarily the ideas that have been the problem. Now I can go back to them in the future, and re-think them in the 1st person.

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