The Chaos of Thoughts & A Mountain

I’ve been struck by a bolt of lightning this month. With the rains and flooding happening in my state, it was bound to happen eventually. Now the ghosts of stories’ past visit me in my sleep. And I can’t introduce a topic without metaphor and prose. Tis the tragedy of an addled brain.

But in all seriousness, creatively I’ve hit a bit of a stride. For over a year, the voices in my head refused to speak to me. Mutters and stutters of thought sometimes broke through but what they offered was always disappointing. I wrote but then I looked back on what I wrote and hated it. I carved away chunks–a scene here, some dialogue there, maybe a few chapters and an outline–but I always looked up at the mountain. It was tall, imposing, it’s peak somewhere hidden in the clouds. And knowing what I had to do compared to what was done was disheartening and writing hurt physically.

But these past few weeks have been productive. I’ve been focusing on my Grim History project surrounding the town of Hollow Grove. It’s been through a bunch of name changes. First, “Notes of An Outsider”, to “Dark & Grim Lore of Early Hollow Grove”. I settled on Hollow Grove: A Grim History but that too might change. I’m about 78% okay with it which compared to the others is better.

A part of my malaise was because I had a tendency to chuck chapters wholesale. My revisions became rewriting without referencing the first draft at all outside of major plot beats. So I completely discounted the months of work past me did because present me was pretentious.

Instead of that, when I gave Grim History a second look, I decided to incorporate elements from the multiple drafts of it. Not copying and pasting them wholesale. I had it opened in a second window while I typed what I liked on the other. It allowed me to fill in the holes from the first draft and incorporate ideas that I have now after the story marinated itself in my head for a year and a half. Right now, I’m 12 parts in and still going strong.

I also had to remind myself that what I’m working on doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to exist first.

So that’s the update this week.

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