I’ve been working on a new story, in the hopes of adding to my Fifty by Fifty list. It’s an idea that’s been rattling around in my head for awhile now, involving a local poet who lived in my area in the mid-nineteenth century (who I’m fictionalizing in the story), a contemporary young woman who is researching him for her graduate thesis, and a strange stone she finds near a local landmark built in honor of him, a stone that has the strange power to flash her back to the poet’s life. There’s a mystery involved concerning his wife, and though I’m not sure how it will play out, I’m very excited about it.
However…as I’m writing along, I’m finding it’s going to be quite a long short story, if not a novella. It may even have the ingredients for a novel.
That’s not what I intended. It always seems that as soon as I set a course of action, my mind immediately veers off in another direction. And though I’m enjoying writing the story, I’m well aware that there are a lot of holes and fuzzy areas. For one thing, I’m not a poet. Nowhere near. And my protagonist is an aspiring poet, trying to decide if she wants to finish the thesis, become a teacher and marry her doctor fiance, or ditch all that and stay in this small town to write her poetry. So I feel I need some poetry in there, both the poet’s and my protagonist’s. Yikes.
I often feel that my great ideas surpass my talent to tell them. Great ideas are a dime a dozen–anyone can come up with one, but the real test is to actually pull if off and write it. I always fear that my stories fall short of what I had envisioned in my imagination. What I’m capable of writing can never live up to the “brilliance” of my vision. That’s frustrating, and a little depressing.
But I do know that just picking up the pen and trying is the first battle. To have the audacity to give it a go. And if it doesn’t work? Oh well. Keep trying, and learn along the way. Maybe the next one will be better. Keep writing until the gap between what I achieve on paper and the movie inside my head narrows and they meet.
“Fake it til you make it,” as the saying goes.