Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Maybe One Day I'll Finish What I Start

Well, folks, NaNoWriMo is over and....drum roll please...I didn't finish it.
I just wasn't into it this year. I think my inner-editor can't stand to see the trashy drivel pile up like dead bodies all around me, what with all my bad "dead body" metaphors and the like. I mean, you read the passage I left for you, right? Remember? Before? Fine, here's the link. And to show you what a crappy (but hopeful!!) writer I truly am, here's another gem from the novel-that-never-went-anywhere-except-in-the-far-corners-of-Cheryl's-tired-brain:

“Are you okay?” he asked.
“Oh, yes. I’m fine,” she said. “My friend must have realized…anyway…he came back. So, umm…sorry I woke you and thank you so much for being willing to help me.”
“No problem!” he said sincerely, and he shut the door as she walked away.
Anna walked down the porch and up the walkway to the sidewalk. She was nervous that Ryan had come back; she assumed it was because he noticed her purse in the car. Maybe he was a jerk, she thought, but he was a
nice jerk. The hedge still obstructed her view, but she could hear him knocking loudly on her front door. She paused as she came around the hedge, to see what he was doing. Her purse was in his hand and he kept pounding on the door. He waited and pounded. And then waited and pounded. Anna kept still and stood watching, not sure how to approach. Ryan sighed and turned around. He started towards the car in the driveway with her purse in his hand, and she knew he would notice her if she didn’t hide. She decided to just start walking as if she had been intentionally out walking in the dark winter night. Women walk alone at night in the winter, right?
She had only taken a few steps when Ryan saw her.
Anna was silent, but she stopped walking to acknowledge his address. He walked over to her and held out the purse.
“Ummm…you left this in my car. I didn’t notice it until I had driven home, but I figured you might need it.”
Anna took the purse and quietly said, “thank you.”
They stood there awkwardly for a few moments. Anna stared at the purse she clutched in her hands and Ryan put his hands into his pockets. Anna wasn’t sure what to say, and it was obvious Ryan wasn’t going to say anything, so Anna just took the purse and started to walk around him and up the driveway.
As she passed Ryan, he reached out and gently took a hold of her arm.
“Anna, wait.”
She looked at him. His face had the expression of concern, and it truly looked sincere. She didn’t answer, but let him talk.
“Anna…I…I’m not sure how I can explain this to you without you hating me more than you already do now.”
Anna’s face softened and she whispered “I don’t hate you.”
“Well, I wouldn’t blame you if you did!” he said. “What I did to you when we were 14 years old was awful. And I can see how that would have…bothered you.”
Anna scowled.
“Okay, okay! Not bothered, but made your life miserable. What I mean is that what I did was wrong. I may have been young and foolish –pretty stupid, too –but I want you to know that I actually grew out of that phase. I haven’t always been the jerk I was as a teenager. I’m not perfect, no –the U2 concert obviously proved that –but I do have good intentions now. I honestly…Anna…I honestly think…no…I know. I don’t THINK, Anna –I know this. I know…” he trailed off as he looked at her face. Anna was vaguely aware that he had moved his body so they were standing right in front of each other. The one hand that had held her arm was still there, but his other hand had slowly moved to her face. She felt her eyes close as he touched her cheek, and she felt so wonderful…but then snapped back to reality.
She opened her eyes and looked at him intently.
“You know what, Ryan?”
He was surprised by her reaction, but he didn’t flinch or back down.
“Anna. I know that I fell in love with you the moment I saw you in that law office two months ago. I had no idea you were the Anna Warner from my youth, but now that I know you are, it actually makes me thrilled!”
Anna was confused. “Why would that thrill you, Ryan?” she backed away from him and he let go of her arm. “You’re happy now that you’ve had the chance to apologize? Make amends? Are you happy that the ugly tall girl you kissed on a BET is now beautiful and everything you’ve ever wanted? And how convenient that she’s been in love with you for 15 years even though she hates the sound of your name because it reminds her of the pain you caused? Because she spent so much time trying to forget the past, only to have you waltz back into her life and ruin it all over again?”
By then, Anna was sobbing again, and she realized she probably sounded irrational. She wiped at her eyes, opened her clutched purse, and grabbed her keys.
“Thank you for bringing me my purse, Ryan, but I don’t think I can handle more lies tonight, okay? I’ll see you at the office.”
Again, she made her dramatic exit, but this time, with her keys.
“Anna, wait!”
She felt Ryan grab her arm again, but she tried to shake him off.
“Anna. Anna! Come on. Just listen, okay? Just listen.”
She turned around to face him.
“Ryan, if you really love me, then you will let go of my arm.”
He dropped her arm.
“Thank you. I will see you tomorrow.”
She unlocked her front door as quickly as she could and went inside. She immediately locked the door from the inside and sat on the floor against the door. The sobs shook her body for more than an hour and she drifted off to sleep on the cold floor.

Well, dear reader, no need to give me literary advice on this; no need to edit. I know it's crap. I mean, "Anna walked down the porch and up the walkway to the sidewalk"?? What kind of description is that? And "to acknowledge her address"? Come on, people! Even I know it's bad. Really bad.
But you know what? That's okay. The whole point of NaNoWriMo is to just write; get it out there, write furiously away, let the creative juices flow, and refuse to let the inner editor take over. It's not about flawless writing --it's about writing, period. Besides, which published author was able to submit a first draft? Hmmm? Who? Yeah, nobody.

Oh, and just for your information (and to alleviate all the confusion out there), here is the outline of the plot which I used on my NaNo profile:
Girl loves boy; boy loves girl. Boy hurts girl; girl spends the next 15 years getting over him. Girl runs into boy who starts work at her place of employment. Boy does not recognize girl. Girl recognizes boy! Ooh--what will happen? Or something like that. We'll see how it plays out in the next month...

More info? Anna was a foster girl with intense shyness. She falls in love with the Alpha Male (Ryan) and he pretends to like her on a bet (kisses her, etc.). Then he humiliates her publicly, and shortly thereafter she leaves to go live with her aunt and uncle who are finally able to adopt her (she's an orphan). 15 years later (still dealing with the Ryan baggage that has damaged every relationship she's ever tried to be in), while working at a law office (not as a lawyer), the firm hires Ryan as their new lawyer. But he doesn't recognize her because she changed her name...and it's been 15 years. She refuses to tell him (she's still massively shy), but starts to date him (he's still charming and handsome and perfect) and then it all comes out at the end, blah, blah, blah. And more blah. Maybe.
I didn't finish it, remember?
But hey, I still might. So, don't steal my idea! Or my words! That would be rude (and stupid, since they're really, really bad...).

Hey, so are you a writer? Do you want to write? Do you think books like this (cheesy/bad romance) still have a large demographic today? Even without a vampire in them? Doh!


Julie said...

First of all, great picture on your header.

Second of all, aside from the wordiness (I mean, it's a first draft, give yourself a break) -- the story is fun and I can see myself getting a little hook-ed on the whole romance gone awry but hopefully happily ever after-ness of this story. It's good.

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

I always love a story of the Ugly Duckling/Cinderella becoming beautiful/talented/admired. I'd buy your book. :)

I love to write too. I'm nowhere near as talented as you, but it is really cathartic for me to write. I wish I had more time for it. :)

Weatherspoon Family of 6 said...

ANYTHING you come up with beats me by a huge mile! (is that bigger than an actual mile?) anyways you are great at least you can even come up with a plot! =0

Summer said...

I didn't finish either. :(

Michelle said...

I think it has a lot of potential! Keep going! xoxo, m

Alison Wonderland said...

NaNoBlahBlo. I'm all for goals but even I think that one is a little too lofty (esp. with the end of the month being as is always is). But that doesn't mean that you have to stop working on it just keep swimming.

Annette Lyon said...

Editing aside, I was drawn in. It's totally a premise worth exploring and writing.