Writing about the past is normally my strongest ability, but this novel has been challenging at the very least. More appropriately, this piece of my soul that I have been penning has been the culmination of experiencing all emotions imaginable as they pertain to a single other person.
It is based on many true events, though I won’t disclose which are fictional and which actually occurred, that shaped who I am today. Beginning as a tribute to someone I cared deeply for, this labor of love has now become a story of love, growth, and individuality. Due to circumstances beyond my control, it only felt right that the original path I had for this novel take a detour.
The protagonist’s love interest is based on this person, and the protagonist is loosely based on myself. At first I wanted to write our story before it happened, but our story was never written. I haven’t spoken to this person in over half a year. I’ve been working on this damn thing for over a year, now.
I didn’t make any progress immediately after she made the blunt decision that she was removing me from her life. I couldn’t argue, I didn’t beg, and I wasn’t angry. The whole thing just kind of happened.
Motivation to complete this thing was lacking at best following this, and I couldn’t bring myself to write. There was always a fleeting desire to finish just because it was something I had started, but there was always a constant thought in the back of my head preventing me from consistently writing. “This was for her and she’s gone. What’s the point?”
What’s the point? What was the point for me to keep going?
I had a resurgence of passion to finish when I finally told myself that the book itself could be about her, but the process of writing it was mine. The story hadn’t been told yet, and I was the writer. I was the sole determiner of how the plot played out, and by God I was going to keep writing, but I was going to do it for me. I was going to finish because I wanted to, because I wanted to be an author.
I kept the original outline that contained the plot from its conception, but I made a new one, too. They are almost polar opposites, with the plot completely changed, the setting all over the place, added fictionalizations, added true events, and so much more. It became a story about me rather than a story about us.
Now that I am approaching the first draft’s completion, I am excited to finish this work. I am excited to see how much the work changes from now until I finish, because, as writers know, sometimes everything changes and it’s all out of your control. The work and its characters really do take control sometimes, and that’s when the best stuff finds its way to the page.
I’m giving myself a deadline of just over a week to finish the first draft. I want to spend most of my Christmas break editing, rewriting, and adding so that I can perfect this book as much as possible before I begin submitting to publishers.
Writing about the future I wanted to have was easy. Writing about the past I didn’t want was hard, but continuing to write about it when my future couldn’t possibly look brighter than it does currently with my wonderful girlfriend has been excruciatingly difficult. Writing about this person makes me appreciate Aubrie so much more for so many reasons, but one of the most glaring being that she is simply the best thing I could ever ask for.