It’s YA and bleak! Why the heck am I writing this story?

I’m writing a story unlike any I’ve written before. It’s sort of YA dystopian. I didn’t ask for this story, I dreamed it. Actually, it was too intense to call a dream, so let’s call it a nightmare—the kind you force yourself to wake from because you’re too afraid to see the end.

Is it that intense on paper? No. At least, not yet. This has been my first attempt at writing without any preliminary writing—no crucial scenes pre-written, no dialogue already recorded. I don’t like writing first drafts. I know in my head where the story is going, but since I haven’t written the climactic scene, it’s driving me nuts not knowing if it’s going to turn out well. Yet, I keep plugging away.

This story has already gone through major changes. I’ve altered the original ending, which I sensed, but didn’t actually see, in my dream. I made that decision because I realized early that this was not a story about a girl; this was a girl’s story. I needed to tell it all from her point of view.

I’m eons way from my teen years. It’s not easy for me to get deep into the mindset of a 15 year-old girl. I have teen-aged granddaughters, so I’m not totally out of that world, but still …

So, yeah. That’s what I’m working on. I’m trying to ignore that inner critic asking me what makes me think I can write this story … or pointing out how much time I’ll have wasted when it fails. Someday I’m going to make her the victim in a violent tale.

Your turn: What sort of challenges do you set for yourself?

18 thoughts on “It’s YA and bleak! Why the heck am I writing this story?

  1. Good luck with this project Linda! You know, Stephenie Meyer (author of Twilight series) wrote her first book after dreaming about the characters. Just saying, don’t give up, sounds like you’re onto something and passionate about telling it right!

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  2. for my NF – the challenge is telling personal stories and admitting just how dumb I have been. (we can please ignore current stuff right?) : ) and in the fiction piece, the challenge is in creating characters I’m not sure ring true. I can’t wait to read your latest creation.

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    1. I started to say I couldn’t write non-fiction that honestly, Jess, but then I realized I do that on my blog quite often. 😉 I wish you well on creating realistic characters. This reminds me, I think I’ve only read one example of your fiction.

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  3. Linda, I can’t wait to read this. Are you writing a short or is it the start of a new novel? It sounds dreadful and perfect.

    Funny thing, I’m writing a girl’s story from the 1st pov too, though it doesn’t stem from a dream and I have no idea how it ends, only that it must end soon. Current challenge–have this 10,000 word story written by Halloween and ready for critique. I don’t know how I got wrapped up in this challenge, but it’s been an incredible learning experience.

    Don’t look back 🙂

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    1. This is a short story, Victoria. But it won’t run 10,000 words. I haven’t written a story that long … yet. Sounds like you’ve taken on quite a challenge with a deadline and all. I wish you a river of perfect words. 🙂

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  4. Okay, I’m super excited you’re tackling this sort of project…I only wish you were going full-force toward making it a novel, and not merely a short story, because it sounds like a world, and a girl, worth exploring for a while. (Also, because I get attached to characters and would *totally* want to read more than just a short story, hehe)

    Good luck! Can’t wait to see what comes of this idea! 🙂

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    1. You must be excited, Kayla, this is your first comment on my blog in almost six months! 😀

      I don’t think I could make this a novel, though I’ll admit it did occur to me a couple days ago. But I just got a bad review on Brevity and one of the comments was that she felt I could have cut whole parts of it out. That’s made me think I might have a tendency to write too much filler in novels. And to be honest, at this point, I think this story might top out at 5k, so to expand that into a novel … even a shorter YA one, would be quite a chore.

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        1. Thank you, Darlene. 🙂 I haven’t had a ton of feedback from readers, but I don’t recall anyone else suggesting I rambled. Of course, if she was as bored as she indicated, even 50k would have seemed too long.

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  5. My curiosity is piqued.

    I’ve written a couple shorts from the same nightmare, and each one goes in different directions. Only a friend has read both versions.

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    1. Well, fivecats, this is the only time I’ve tried writing out this nightmare, but it’s changed twice already, and today it occurred to me I could take it in yet another direction. Hmmm, I hate making decisions.

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  6. Good luck with this one. It sounds cool and the teens will love it! It is fun to go back to the teen years again too. (Some say I never left it) Keep writing -and dreaming.

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  7. Oh, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t like writing first drafts. I actually don’t enjoy it at all, so it makes me wonder why I keep doing it, hehe. Your book sounds deliciously dark! I’m getting closer to your book on my to-read list. I’m so behind it’s pathetic. 😦

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    1. Yeah, Michelle, first drafts are the grunt work. We could be like James Patterson and hire other writers to do that job. Nah!

      “Deliciously dark” — I love the sound of that. Unfortunately, I’ve started questioning an element of my story that no longer makes sense, so it’s certainly not delicious to me at the moment.

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