I’m in the grueling process of editing the second installment of my vampire trilogy, lamenting the time spent in telling this far-reaching tale. I was in the midst of a full-blown whinefest about the arduous process, becoming stingier and stingier in entertaining thoughts about adding any other chapters. I knew the new sections would flesh out the personal details of the characters participating in this dark drama, but I was nonetheless deploring becoming involved. In desperately trying to talk myself out of adding even one more word to the bulging story that already surpasses the page count of the first behemoth, a thought occurred to me. It was this: How much time do you devote to a chapter in someone’s life?
I realized that I am not writing a story, I am writing the biography of someone’s life. A biography of all the lives of my beloved characters that I caused to be by use of my imagination. The fact I’m now bemoaning and being resentful about documenting their existence is curious, if not strange. How dare I put a capper on much to tell because of the time involved? Or because of the suffering in controlling my behavior long enough to tell the story that I alone willfully began.
Writing, like life, is truly a journey. It’s full of disappointments, triumphs, endless repetitions, and mind-numbing, relentless devotion to a task. It’s this last one that hones skills and turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. In choosing to go the extra mile, you allow your audience to get to know your character as intimately as possible. What is it that’s said? That there are three realities? The one you perceive, the one the other party perceives, and the truth? Well, I believe when you get it right, you ultimately deliver the third option. The truth.
There is no greater gift a writer can give, but it’s only achieved at a cost. It means putting aside computer games, the beautiful day, and all those shoe sales that are calling out your name. It means sometimes ignoring that adorable pet in the corner trying to get your attention, and shutting out a beloved partner’s plea to accompany them on a walk down a lane you’ve never trod.
They’ll all be waiting for you to take advantage of AFTER you complete the task at hand. It’s just that no one ever told you that the most important component to any story, is the art of juggling.