Some days you write the story, some days the story writes you

5 years ago | ubersoft (Member)

I started a new job in November that required me to drive about two hours to work and back. That in itself was annoying, but it wasn't impossible. What made it more difficult was that I had to cross a time zone - I was in central, the job was in eastern - which meant that in order to get to work by 8AM I had to get up at 4AM (one hour to get ready because HEY IT'S FREAKING EARLY, two hours to get there, +1 hour crossing from CST to EST).

This was what we like to call a "significantly disrupting event" when it came to my writing schedule. But I managed to put out the February issue of Curveball (Issue 27), and I moved into an apartment 8 minutes away from work in April, so I didn't have to drive two hours any more.

Yay! Disruption over. Meanwhile I was planning Issue 28. I had it all worked out, where internal and external pressures start to fracture the alliances that were forming among the good guys, and the bad guys took steps to compensate for the losses they'd suffered.

Anyway, I follow K B Spangler (web cartoonist and writer) on Twitter, and one of the things she tweets about regularly was the house she and her husband bought, which was apparently a real money pit that had all kinds of issues, including problems with the foundation. And one day on a whim I announced Issue 28 would be named "Cracked Foundations" in honor of her house, because it fit and it amused me (and her).

Boy was that a mistake!

I don't know if her house is sentient and evil, and reached out to assault me on a spiritual level, or if I psyched myself out by taking up the name, but the issue fought me every step of the way. I had to struggle with each line, each paragraph, it was a fight to finish each page. I rewrote Part One multiple times, rewrote bits of Parts Two and Three extensively. It took me about three months to finish writing that damn issue. It was like pouring all my time and energy into a big dark hole that never filled up. And now that I finished it, when I read it my reaction is to shrug my shoulders and say "meh." I mean, it's not the worst I've ever written, but it certainly isn't my best. I don't think it could be, considering how long I had to pick at it to get it finished.

Part Four is OK. It has some nice dialog in it.

Anyway, the whole process was intensely frustrating while I was going through it, but now it's kind of funny. I named my issue in honor of the house from hell and it cursed the entire writing process! That is my official position on the matter: evil houses can curse your story.

Curveball (Updating)
A Rake by Starlight (Updating)

Read responses...


  1. LEErickson (Member)

    Posted 5 years ago

    And yet you still have your sense of humor. If I'd spent months getting up at 4am and making that massive a daily commute, I would be decidedly less chipper about pretty much everything. Kudos to you on remaining human! ;)

    I'd wager the story is better than you think it is. Objectivity is hard. Congrats on toughing it out and getting through (the commute and the writing).

  2. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 5 years ago

    Speaking only from a reader's perspective (since I wasn't going through it looking for writing mistakes), all I can say is that it works, and I enjoyed it. No problems stood out.

  3. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 5 years ago

    I don't think it's bad, exactly, I just don't think it was equal to the time invested. :)

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  4. mathtans (Member)

    Posted 5 years ago

    The whole "crossing time zones to get to work" thing is strangely compelling to me. Probably because of my interest in time travel. As to the titling, sounds like a clever word play... but will the results dissuade you from naming your issues in advance going forwards? Hmmm. (I mean, was it a jinx merely due to the house association, or on the naming itself? I wonder.) Congrats on getting to the end, at least! I have had worse reactions to my writing than "meh".

    Writing a Time Travel serial:
    Writer of the personification of math serial:
  5. Psycho Gecko (Member)

    Posted 5 years ago

    You tempted the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing.

  6. Blaise Corvin (Member)

    Posted 5 years ago

    Heh... I don't have any mojo working against me, I just find writing the last 2 chapters of this book to be utterly exhausting.

    Starting story - fun, exciting, easy.

    The last few chapters - exhausting, grueling, omgpleaseIjustwanttostartbook2.

    Visit my site, I have punch and pie.
    I also have two stories: Delvers LLC and The Crimson Artifice. :)


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