Finishing what you start

I set myself a challenge, I wanted to write a descriptive story from the POV of a blind main character. I knew it would be really tough. I knew it would probably go badly. I was right.

I did all of this writing even when I saw it going wrong, I had the main character referring to his visual impediment way too often, I had many forced conversations that came across stilted to say the least. I tried every trick to force a visual idea of what was happening. I made this harder by making the key antagonist of the story something he couldn’t perceive, a supernova from another nearby star.  I wanted to quit. I wanted to give up.

I finished it today and can say it is among my weakest writing to date. I did however reach my goal. Even in failure, I learned, I felt ready to celebrate, I felt relieved.

By completing such a difficult task for myself, I exposed many weaknesses in my own style and abilities, and I am better able to identify them and fix them now. I now feel, as I return to my chosen genre and character style, better able to describe the world around them with the other senses.

If I had not finished this story I would have felt defeated, my readers would have felt cheated, and my wife would have flogged me. I am not just a writer but the proud father of a writer. He learns from my example. He challenges himself regularly now, because he sees me doing the same.

For all the reasons above, and whatever reason you have to continue writing. Failure is an option and is a great teacher. I am not depressed by my shortcomings, but try to learn from them. I hope this all helps someone out there struggling with vague writing problems they can’t identify. I hope this helps my oldest son in his own writing pursuits. Most of all, I hope it helps me grow as a writer. Nothing makes me as happy as creating a world of depth, characters of intrigue, and plots of substance.

Happy writing,

Charles R. Colp

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