Just write it

On our way back home to New Hampshire after wintering in Arizona, we are spending a few weeks with our daughter Jennifer and family in Williamsburg, VA. The region, and our daughter’s house itself, is the setting for one of the numerous stories I have started. And never finished. It is only natural that I am motivated to resurrect the story while we are here.

After nearly a year it’s overwhelming on the one hand and like Christmas on the other to open all of my Word files and reread what I wrote (what seems like) so long ago. Six versions, seven installments submitted to my writing group, and one final complete story. And an equal amount of backstory and plot possibilities. Questions without answers. Questions that deserve answers. Meaning that there really never was a final complete story.

The comments from my writing group come flooding back. One person thought the description of the protagonist’s lunch was unnecessary while another thought it showed insight into the character. That’s just one of the comments I recall.

I do remember that the six versions were driven by the diverse comments from my writing group. I appreciate them all and know, deep down, that they can only improve the story. However, I am assured that it is my prerogative as the author to use any, all, or none of them.

My husband, who paints as a hobby during his retirement and knows nothing of the torture we writers endure, instructed me to pick one option, any option, and just write it. But I can’t seem to find my way out of the whirlpool of plot possibilities swirling around me to commit to just one and do as he instructs.

I know. This is a common thread in my blogs, my discussions with my writing group and my friends and family, in my head. Finish it. Answer those questions. Pick one scenario and stick with it. Has her daughter had an affair with the intruder? Or is she currently having one? Is she still married or recently divorced? Did he steal the Honda Odyssey van or the BMW? Did she ask him to steal her car or just jokingly mention it in conversation? Did the mother, my protagonist, go to the methadone clinic or not? Is there even a methadone clinic? See my dilemma??

For research, I am heading to the garage to have my husband tie me to the newel post with string from the lawn edger to see if it will work for my story. One of my writing group participants questioned the ability of the string to restrain my protagonist. We shall see if one of my questions is answered….


About Karen Whalen

A contemporary fiction writer with an accumulation of incomplete novels and short stories, I consider NH "home," spending the summer through Christmas there with my husband. My youngest daughter and her family live nearby (as well as my mother and other family members). January finds us venturing to VA to visit our middle daughter and her family before we make our way to sunny AZ to live with our oldest daughter and family. We spend time in VA on our way home. I am fortunate that my daughters live in places I would have retired to all on my own! My 87 year-old mother asks if I will finish my novel (which one, I wonder) before she dies.....Even with that for a goal, I manage to excel at procrastination!

Posted on May 11, 2015, in Karen Whalen, research, writing, Writing Group and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hey Karen, haven’t heard from you in a while…


  2. But it’s even better than that–it’s their daughter’s garage!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So, a husband ties his wife to a post in their garage, and it works so well that he can’t get her untied, and he has to call for help, and when they try to explain…. Oh, I think there’s a story in there!


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