Sunday, May 2, 2010

Ramblings - Dilemmas and Negative Influences

I have been writing for some time now and through my experiences in the writing I've done I've never really been met with a roadblock larger than finding the time to write.
As I've stated to many people, as well as in the guest blog I wrote for my friend and fellow author, M.T. Murphy, writer's block hasn't been an issue for me personally. Lack of focus and the fact that I'm like an ADD kid hopped up on speed some days however, have been. They are minor annoyances but once I start writing I can typically keep going regardless of what is going on around me. Which is amazing when you live in a house that has four kids, 9 years and younger, a dog that is more a 120 pound Clydesdale than anything who loves to chase a cat that can curl up and fit inside his mouth if wanted, and nephews that love to play video games while encompassed in the awe and splendor of a 60 inch TV with theater quality surround sound found in our living room (would you believe me if I told you that even though I am female, I preferred the TV system over clothes and shoes just to be able to watch Football? Sad, but true.).
That being said, once I finally decided to write a book, it has been relatively smooth sailing. I laid out the chapters, decided on a plot, decided details that would need to happen from the start to finish of the book and began writing. To date, I have written more in the last three months on one idea, than I have when I was involved in the wonderful world on online storytelling. I took one main idea for the book and I threw all of my focus into it. Now I’m faced with a dilemma. A dilemma, that while some of you may have never had to face, I would value input on.
The dilemma would be of the amount of religious content in the book, and how much I twist the aforementioned content to serve a purpose for my story.
My sister, through a recent Twitter post to me, told me to push it as far as creativity will allow and yet I’m still hesitant. It isn’t because I am fearful of losing a grouping of readers who might otherwise enjoy the story, nor am I worried about dealing with anything religious in the story itself because let’s face it, the book is about a woman with ties to the Devil himself. Want to know the real fear?

My Father.

You have to understand that my father is a very religiously opinionated man, one who’s opinion the older I get, I seem to value more and more. It has led to certain decisions in my life to be made in a vague attempt of trying to gain his approval and commendation. Decisions that while they have led me to be who and how I am, some I am less proud of than others. You would also need to understand that I was raised in a home where the Devil was bad, God was great, and to speak Lucifer’s name would be reminiscent of the people within the Harry Potter books speaking of Voldemort. Something you just didn’t do. One with such a religious slant on an everyday life that you didn’t dare think Vampires, Werewolves, Demons, Ghosts, Goblins and Witches were cool. If you did you were pretty much damned to hell for being a devil worshipper.
Even though the older my father gets, his views on those things for entertainment purposes are leaning more liberal, still doesn’t matter. I mean come on, I’m talking about a man who in his later 50’s has read all 4 of the Twilight books start to finish, has seen the movies, and still tunes in every Thursday night to watch Supernatural. And for those of you who watch the show, with this season and last being all about a battle between angels and demons, all reference to God and what is written in the bible he has given me a spiel after every mention as to how they are wrong in the context they’ve used some vague Bible verse or something. And even though I know that the book I am writing is not necessarily something that my father will probably ever read, however, if the thought should strike him to do so, I cringe in fear of what he may say in reference to a particular passage I have just written.

Not to mention, this passage in question, I happen to love. Made me sit back like a mad scientist clutching my hands with a maniacal laugh and say, “Oooooh that’s interesting!”
I am slowly learning that the people nearest to us can hurt us the most. I am also learning that while the people closest to me love me, that in their brutal attempts to keep me ‘level-headed’ about writing and publishing a book, that they inevitably hurt me with their negativity. Perhaps it is in delivery of their advice or opinion, but either way, you can only take so many put downs before you just stop dealing with those people.
My best friend told me in conversation the other day whilst I was pushing her to take a story we collaborated on a few years back and turn into a novel told me she was scared. Not because of failure, because whether or not anyone bought it or not didn’t matter, but because the story itself is very near and dear to her. It was a story she created when she was in her early teens, one of the first few that actually got her into writing and every time she has put it out in the public eye there have been issues, drama to say the least. She said it would kill her if those same kind of people crushed her with it, said anything damaging about the story etc, ect.
My reply was simple. You either have to want it or you don’t. If you are happy having the story inside of your head and nowhere else then fine, but that is your choice as I think she is an exceptionally gifted writer, her imagination is one I can only hope to try to be as good as, it just amazes me that she doesn’t want to do anything with it.

But sitting here, I’m realizing that perhaps I am the same way. This story is my baby so to speak, when it comes to writing. The characters are extensions of me, pieces of my imagination that have kept me company for over 5 years now, and I’m not worried about publishers or agents or even my peers telling me it sucks, because to be honest, I don’t care if I get famous or rich off of these stories, I simply want to have a book, with my name on the cover and be like “Yea, I did that.”
So I guess I will turn this back over to you the readers… can you lend any insight as to what dilemmas you’ve faced that made you question how far is too far? What about negative people who influence your desire to keep writing?

1 comment:

  1. You are definitely not the first person to struggle with the decision to put their story out there for the world to see, consequences be damned. After I finished the draft of Lucifera's Pet, I realized that the only people who had read it were friends. I had received absolutely no negative comments whatsoever.

    That fact worried me a great deal.

    Every story has issues and flaws that the storyteller cannot see. I actually solicited the advice of test readers and gave them the directive of pointing out problems and things they didn't like. I was terrified of the negative feedback, but I found that the points were very valid. In most instances, I decided to rework certain areas based on their comments. The story ended up far better because of that.

    Feel free to call me crazy (you won't be the first) but you might consider sending your first draft to the one whose opinion you fear the most: your dad.