December 13, 2010

Writing the afternoon away

I spent the day yesterday working on The Worlds, my first book. Luckily the day's work was to write new scenes. I swear the only time I feel I can breathe is when I'm writing fiction. The rest of life is just noise. I want to write my stories.

That's how a lot of (mostly) women at my old job used to refer to their soap-opera watching, as "my stories." At work I would hear the women talk about how they recorded their stories to watch when they got home. They couldn't live without them. Although soaps seem boring to me, I can understand the rush a person gets from following "their stories."

My books are my stories. It's fun after you've written a few books and can look back on those worlds and all the characters you've created. It's fun to revisit them by reading the story, or even thinking about them in odd moments, as if they're old friends. But right now I'm doing a rewrite, which means I'm really back there again. To me, it feels like an honor. I thought theese worlds (there are many in that book) were closed and done with, yet now I'm a player in that reality once again. I'm there.

It's exciting to me. I missed these places, these characters, and all the stories that take place in that world. It's a joy to create new scenes within this familiar framework. It's kind of like a high school reunion, I guess, only you're right back in the actual old days and you can alter the way things turn out. I'll bet a lot of people would like to do that with their high school "stories".

And that's it, that's the great thing about writing novels: you guide the story, you shape it and dress it. The colors you see when you read the book are the ones you put there. And as for the characters you've brought to life, they are the most personal possessions a person can have. You made this person or child or alien; it's yours in such an intimate way. It's family. I love that.

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