The Queen of the Cliff-hangers

9th September 2010

I have a confession to make.  I hear voices in my head.  The voices of characters who don’t know where they’re going because I haven’t finished their stories on the page.  I’m responsible for the identity crises of thousands.  I get several fake shrink bills in the mail every week.  One girl in particular has been stuck in the bathroom for about four months.  She’s angry.  She was other places to go.  Trust me, we’ve had words.

My problem (?) is that my brain is faster than my typing fingers, my writing hands, and even my speaking mouth.  I see the whole thing in my head, and it’s finished there before it’s finished on paper/screen.   And then I get bored.  Move on to a story with louder, more urgent/annoying characters.  That has left me with more unfinished stories, indeed novels, than I care to admit to.  The novels originated from stories that wouldn’t end.  They still haven’t.  Some people just don’t shut up.

I used to write out of sequence, and that ended in more words.  Which is good, but they still make sense only to me and very few of those words are ‘The End’.  Sometimes, there is very little progress in the Work in Progress.  Especially when there are several works not progressing.  I’m not fickle.  I prefer the term Queen of the Cliff-hangers.  Maybe I should let the characters mingle and cross story-lines.  I’m sure they’d have a lot in common.

Contrary to popular belief, I do finish things.  I have to sit down (that’s easy) and write the whole thing in one go with no breaks or Time To Think.  The biscuits and Doritos have to be on my desk, because I sure as hell can’t leave the room to get them.  If I did, I’d get sidelined by Judge Judy, or something longer, like Summer.

I went off in search of a new notebook today.  Didn’t have to go very far.  I have lots of notebooks in the house.  I wanted one with no half-baked ideas, unsullied by old times and procrastination.  Couldn’t find one.  That says something.  It says I must open my Novels and Tidbits file on my computer, and finish something old.  Hopefully before NaNoWriMo, when the idea is to start (and finish!) something new.

The first thing I’m going to do is let that poor girl out of the bathroom.

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No Comments

  • Reply Karin 9th September 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Excellent. I can really relate to this, too. Best line, if you leave to “get the biscuits and doritos, you’ll get distracted by Judge Judy….or something longer, like Summer.”
    Love it. Very funny. Poor girl in the bathroom! Give those characters some relief, girl.

  • Reply Sarge 9th September 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Was wondering who that was in the bathroom, didn’t want to ask though 😉 xox

  • Reply Barbara Smith Stoff 9th September 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Just accept it and go with it…you are a writer. You are a writer!

  • Reply DB York 10th September 2010 at 1:40 am

    Oh honey, I understand. Poor Abigail has been bound and gagged at the bottom of the closet for about 6 months, and I think Jace has been waiting outside the shelter for 4 months, not to mention the various currently nameless characters running amok in my head. I feel your pain!

  • Reply jo 10th September 2010 at 4:57 pm

    As for your take on things…I am so confused (still). Why don’t you just cross over the speed bump, while yelling at the top of your lungs… YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!!!!

  • Reply Delorfnde 21st September 2010 at 4:27 pm

    NaNoWriMo! Yay 🙂 Hello from a fellow crazy WriMo!

    You know, I was reading this post thinking, I wonder if this person does NaNo. I got to the bottom … 😀

  • Reply Spook 21st September 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Ha ha, I’m just the same! My characters yowl at me all the time too (most of them with good reason, if I’m honest)
    Ah, but there’s always something more exciting to be writing eh? This will be my first NaNo too (hello fellow mad person!) so maybe we can both rid ourselves of some irritating persons… temporarily, at least 😉

    • Reply Delorfinde 22nd September 2010 at 1:39 pm

      Spook! You read the post!

      Sorry, dear Author person whose name I don’t know, for interrupting the flow of comments to reply to my dear friend Spook. I recommended your article to her for precisely the reasons she mentions 🙂 She is one of my NaNo buddies this year.

      • Reply LKD 23rd September 2010 at 4:38 pm

        I’m all about having conversations on this blog, so hello to both of you and Happy Nano when it comes. I can’t wait!

        Lorna 🙂

  • Reply Delorfinde 23rd September 2010 at 5:26 pm

    I can’t wait either! It’s 39 days until NaNo … and yes, I do have a countdown on my bedroom wall 😀 Though on the 3rd I’m going to see Lord of the Dance, so I won’t get much writing done that day … still, I’m sure it’ll inspire me lots and lots! Ha ha, dance class on Mondayy, Tuesday, Thursday, Lord of the Dance on Wednesday, Symphonic Wind Band on Friday and Bexley Youth Orchestra on Saturday, then Church on Sunday … can you really see me reaching 50k this year?

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