Wednesday, August 1, 2012

IWSG: Drama



It's time for Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh for joining us together for this monthly group hug.

I feel confident about my ability to write dark comedies.  I have the second draft of two dark comedies completed and have three new ones started.  It would be relatively easy to dive into one of these new pieces and knock it out.  I love making people laugh and feel like I have my groove on with this genre. 

But I can never make things easy on myself.  Instead, I feel compelled to write historical fiction that's definitely dark but not even a little funny.  There's not even a trace of humor in it, but there's lots of drama.  It's a three book series that will require a significant amount of research.

I want to write something else, anything else, but the characters in this very unfunny series are at the front of the queue in my mind.  They are ready to go.  They have names and personalities.  They are begging me to get on with it already and tell their stories.  I haven't written much this summer because these stories have been simmering in my mind, using up most of my creative energy.

When I told my husband my dilemma, he said I should just go for it.  If I can't write it, I'll know soon enough.  No, he didn't say that last line.  He's way too supportive to express any doubt and is a genuine believer in me.  That line was what I thought: If I can't write it, I'll know soon enough. 

But that's a terrifying thing to face - potential failure.  It's the boogeyman in my closet, and he's kind of creeping me out.

This past weekend, I let my teen try driving on the highway for the first time.  When she turned onto the entrance ramp to merge into 65 mph traffic, I said, "Please don't kill me. I'm not done with my book."

We laughed, but I meant what I said.  I'm not quite ready to die yet.  I have three manuscripts to edit and three more to write.  When I thought about the three unwritten books, I wasn't thinking about the comedies.  I was thinking about the historical fiction, the sad stories that will take me two or three years to write.

It's time to put a box of tissues on my desk and get busy.  If I can't write it, I'll know soon enough.

62 comments:

  1. I admire your honesty. If you don't try... you'll never know!
    But... the tone of your writing gives me the impression that you have a plan B & C, if plan A doesn't work out!

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    1. I always have a backup to the backup plan. :)

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  2. As he said, go for it! You might surprise yourself.

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    1. I'm going for it. If it gets too depressing, I'll work on one of the lighter pieces for a week or two.

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  3. You have enough experience under your belt to know if it was meant to be once you start writing these. Stay optimistic and I hope your daughter has good driving skills. My son is a great driver and I'm the one who scares him!

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    1. Thanks, Brinda. I have a habit of talking with my hands while I'm driving, which makes my daughter very nervous.

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  4. Yes...go for it! You have to let those people out of your brain, they need to live too. :-) I am sure it will be fantastic. Here is a BIG ISWG HUG!!!

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  5. I think we all need to follow those inner urges that come to us, even if we think we can't. You are right you'll know soon enough.
    karen

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    1. I think when the characters are right there waving, it's time to write it.

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  6. Oh yeah -- definitely go for it! Stories that bubble up from within and demand to be told are the best ones to write. And I'm certain that your "If I can't write it, I'll know soon enough" will soon turn into a "Wow, I'm amazed at myself for how well that turned out -- it seemed to write itself!"

    And BTW -- I've given you a couple of blogging awards on my blog today. ;^)

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    1. Thanks for the awards. :)

      I keep thinking about it trying to find a humorous twist on the story. It seems wrong to tell this one funny.

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  7. Go for it, Tonja. You can do it. And if you want tips on writing and researching historical fiction, I'm your gal.

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  8. You have nothing to lose by trying. You have everything to lose by driving with your 16 year old ;) Just kidding, I'm sure she's an excellent driver and I'm so glad I don't have to think about that for another 6 years!

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    1. LOL. Very true. She will be able to take her test in two weeks but hasn't been on the highway yet. I would hate to have her do that alone (like I did) after she got her license.

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  9. I agree with Karen, I think we definitely need to follow inner urges like this. I had to laugh at your comment to your daughter. I nearly killed my dad when he first took me on the expressway and I never lived it down, LOL.

    Good luck!

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    1. That doesn't make me feel better. LOL. We live close to a busy interstate. There's no way to avoid it forever.

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  10. If it is on your mind this much, you have to write it out of your mind. That is what I do. Sometimes I write out and it gets to the end, some times I write it out and it stops half way through. You said yourself, you will find out pretty soon if you can't write it. Good luck.

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    1. I feel that way too - it won't go away until I write it. I like the story a lot, I just prefer to write quirkier pieces.

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  11. I agree with your husband. Go for it! If you shoot for the sky and end up landing back on the ground, you can always dust yourself off and climb back into the cannon. I'm very familiar with that fear of failure, but try your best to use it as fuel.

    Good luck!

    J.W.

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    1. It is good to know I have other pieces started if I need a break from this one.

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  12. I have complete confidence in you. You will be a success. I guarantee it.

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    1. You are awesome! Thank you for saying that. :)

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  13. I absolutely believe that something that means so much to you and has been simmering in your mind so long will turn out to be a fantastic story. And if you do fail, so what? I mean, failure is actually an extremely efficient learning tool, and making mistakes is the best way to learn. So go for it with gusto and faith, and if you fail, that doesn't mean you did the wrong thing. (I still don't think you will fail, however). :)

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  14. Love your comment to your daughter. I remember the teen driver days all too well. If the characters and their stories keep popping in your head, then you should definitely go for it. And you'll do it! Don't worry about how long it takes, enjoy the process.

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    1. It's a little overwhelming because of overlapping timelines for three stories. I think if I can get that set from the start, I can work on one book at a time.

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  15. Go for it! I love your conversation with your daughter . . .I have way to much to write too . . . except I'm writing something semi-serious - fantasy adventure with some faith involved, and I'm feeling drawn to write something . . .lighter, and oddballish. I know that last word isn't a word, but I'm a Shakespeare lover - he made up words, and I can too. Maybe.

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    1. Oddballish is a great word. If we can't make up words, who can?

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  16. Good for you for writing outside your comfort zone and for taking on such a big project. If you have a teenage driver, you already have nerves of steel to take a chance.

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  17. It's stretching your comfort zone, so it may take you more time to get it right. But you'll learn a lot. And i know you can write it. Go for it.

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    1. Thanks. I think you're right about it taking longer than I expect. All I have is time, right? (If I stay out of the car.)

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  18. I can hear the passion in your words when you talk about this new series, and with that kind of passion, you can make anything happen. You can do it. I want to hear their story.

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  19. Writing is never a waste of time. It's practice of nothing else. And I can tell from your blog posts that you CAN write, and comedy? Yep, you're good at that!

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    1. Thanks, Karen. I agree about writing never being a waste of time. I do like to write with purpose though.

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  20. How awesome to have such purpose in your life!

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    1. I have plenty of other purpose (3 kids). I think it would be terrible to die with a novel half-written (or not written).

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  21. Well you know, I've got so many story ideas I want to work on, but this first trilogy of mine has been put off for so long it is taking over as well. I know how you feel! I am working on at least outlining these other stories so that when I'm done with these first three books I have them right there, waiting. Difficult? You betcha! I thought I was alone in this, obsessing over three silly books when there is so much more to write, but I tell myself that there's a reason for it. My writer instincts are telling me to get these books done first and move on from there.

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    1. I think it's a good idea to jot down outlines for stories when there's no time to write it now. I just finished one that I outlined over a year ago.

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  22. I agree with your husband - you've gotta right what you're feeling, even if it's not your usual thing, *especially* if you feel it calling to you. Do it, do it, DO IT!!! ;-)
    Some Dark Romantic

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  23. I've got a new one, too. No humor other than the bad guy has a pet guinea pig that he sees as his family. Other than that it's pretty raw with profanity and violence.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

    PS. I'll write mine if you write yours. Okay?

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    1. It's a deal. I just finished edits this morning on a different WIP so I won't feel scattered when I dive into the new one.

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  24. I heard once that we aren't a bit unsure about whether or not we can pull off a project then we haven't challenged ourselves enough. I like that, and I've noticed that every big project that I've tried has gotten increasingly complex. Of course, I don't think I've accomplished any of the previous goals I had before I started on the latest, but whatever. I'm continuing to push myself.

    And for some reason, Georgette Heyer comes to mind. She had this big magnum opus that she spent most of her life working on, and she'd churn out these Regency Romances from time to time with little thought, then would go back to her dream project.

    Now, decades after her death, it's that fluff she was churning out that has won her so many fans. It's just weird that way I guess.

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    1. That's funny. I'm definitely going to have some fluff on hand to work on when the drama gets too intense. I agree about challenging ourselves. I think that's the fun in writing.

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  25. I agree, write what you are feeling. You never know what will happen!

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  26. You can write! You just need to get those other books out of your system. If you need to write them, so be it. I know and believe that you can write other things as well. At least you can do comedy. I try, but it just comes out all wrong. Good Luck with the writing.

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  27. Hi Tonya- stopping in from Katie's Bloffee. Nice to meet you! New follower.

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  28. Okay, here's a virtual hug. Your book is going to be splendid!

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  29. It's funny how the stories are the ones that tell us when they want to be written. What we want doesn't seem to factor in. Such is the life of the writer. Good luck with your writing.

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    1. Isn't that crazy? It's like we're mediums and stories are told through us.

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  30. I love historical fiction! so get busy and write Like you said, if you can't write, you;ll know soon enough:) I tried writing something way out of my comfort zone and was pleasantly surprised it wasn't as far out of my zone as I thought. So go ahead. Write. It looks like you have lots of cheerleaders cheering for you!

    PS. I don't know if people often comment on the spelling of your name, but the "j" is generally different. I have only met ONE other Tonja who spells here name that way and she happens to be my cousin.

    One last thing, I'm a new follower and I happen to be your 200th!! YAY! I love it when that happens cause I get to celebrate with someone else. Besides, when I reach 200 followers, I'm going to celebrate too:)

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    1. Yay for being my 200th follower!!! That's so exciting.

      I do get a lot of comments on my name. There's a J but it's pronounced like Tonya. It's a Russian spelling apparently. My family isn't Russian. They are Appalachian. I suspect my mom was overmedicated during the delivery and spelled it wrong. I also was given no middle name to fall back on. Super awesome.

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