Friday, January 12, 2007


Repeating Myself

It's an unusual day for me to write, on a Friday, rather than a Monday, but I had to work Monday, so I took today off in order to keep from getting too far off track on my current story. Last week, I reread what I had written and had this horrible sinking feeling that I was repeating myself, that my work was stale. I couldn't pinpoint the problem, so I asked everyone at Writers Group on Monday evening. They were so helpful. One said that a certain amount of repetition is to be expected. Another said that I should keep going and the problem leading to my feeling would become apparent over time. Everyone seconded the idea that I should just keep writing. Here it is, the dead middle of the project, story six out of ten, and this is where I'm getting bogged down.

This morning, I woke and realized that part of my repetition seems to be coming from the fact that all of my characters are undergoing a shift in awareness. They are realizing that their current issues are mired in past events & psychological wounds and I'm doing quite a bit of flashbacking to show this. Literary types will tell you that this is a death-knell for a story and that a writer must keep the action going in current time. I don't know whether this is really a story killer, or whether I'm guilty of having my characters slip into memoryland, but I do know that it's very human to compare the present to the past and gain insight from the comparison.

The one thing I don't want to do is reread all of the previous stories at this point. I'd rather forge ahead with this one and fix it later if need be. No need to be thinking all of my stuff is crap just because I'm wading through some now. That'd be frosting the frog for sure.

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