Dropdown menu

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bum Deal

The first book I ever started to write, or at least had envisioned as a great big book rather than what really was a short story, was a book called Bum Deal, that I started back in high school. My teachers thought it was brilliant. Funny how all the writing teachers I ever had though I was such a brilliant writer. Anyway, my classmates thought it sucked.

For some reason, the comments made by one of them keep coming back to me today. She asked if anything good ever happened to my character. See Bum Deal was about a girl who'd been dealt a lot of crap in her life. And as much as she wished good things would come her way, life just kept crapping on her. My plan was that in the last 1/4 of the book or so, it was all going to change, and life would finally no longer be a Bum Deal. I know, groundbreaking stuff. LOL. But you know, I don't know that I ever really had a plan for how her life was going to change-just that it would. Magically-since that pretty much would have been the only way it would have.

I never finished the book. I'd completed enough to get my "A", and frankly, since everyone kept whining about how nothing good happened to her, I didn't see much point in it. I think the next story I wrote, a short story that won a few contests, the kid ended up dying.

I'm having sort of a bizarre day, and I wonder if Bum Deal is the reason I'm not writing like I should. I read romance and happy endings because deep in my heart, it's how I wish life could be. But in my head, I don't think I truly believe that happy endings exist. I was writing some stuff today that somehow fits into The Book, and I think the reason why I'm struggling with it is the same trouble I struggled with on Bum Deal. Life sucks. Humanity sucks. And I don't know how to fix it. Only by some miracle of God.

Interestingly enough, I think it's why I'm struggling with getting readers to like this women's fiction that I still have not sent. I pile all this crap on her from the get-go, because my goal is to transform this incredibly miserable human being into someone truly beautiful. I'm succeeding at the misery.

Why can't I make the beauty happen?

It's so easy as human beings to wallow in misery. It's funny-I think a lot of my friends are wallowers. At times, I get overwhelmed with it, like why are you so freaking miserable, and why aren't you doing anything about it? And then I think, am I any different?

My hope, in writing The Book, even in writing Bum Deal and my women's fiction, is I wanted to help people-people who are miserable. People who could read my words and relate to the misery of the characters, then journey through my story and realize that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I thought that it would be enough for me, a miserable human being trying desperately to claw my way out of the pit, to be real in the journey, to show people that yes, it is a dark and horrible place, but that they can get out of it.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Some of the preconceived notions I had weren't so great. If I'm still in the pit, I can't pull anyone out, now can I? It wasn't the people still in the cave in The Republic getting folks out, but the ones who'd braved it alone, marked the path, and then came back. And they weren't able to save everyone. So much for my grand plans, eh?

I think I'm happier when I'm just threatening to blow stuff up. Too bad I'm not as passionate about that as I am about helping others. Now that would be a sight to see.

No comments: