Wednesday, May 8, 2013

To New Beginnings!


I shared with my Revenge shipmates a few weeks ago that I was leaving my current day job after seven years for a new position I'm really excited about.

Now, it wasn't that I didn't enjoy my current job. I did. It also wasn't that I didn't like my co-workers, because they are the main reason I stayed so long. I mean every job has it bad points (like overworking you all the time!), but for the most part I was mostly happy with it.

So why did I decide to take a new job and leave what felt familiar. Why rock the boat and have to reinvent myself and prove my worth again for a new group of co-workers?

Because something just didn't feel right anymore. From not feeling challenged in my projects, to a sense that I had started to just flow through everyday without pushing myself to be more, kind of scared me. I don't want to live that life.

And I don't want my writing to be like that either.

So, I'm starting the new book over. Fresh. Bright and shiny new.

Not because it wasn't flowing or because it wasn't good, but because it just felt off. Something isn't right with the tone and characters yet. I'm just not feeling as if the story is electrifying me as much as the ideas in my head do.

As I start this new phase in my career, I've also decided to make a clean start on this new book. I love the characters and plot and want to make sure what I'm putting on the page makes me proud.

At this point I'm insanely excited about both new starts, but nervous too. I put a lot of pressure on myself to exceed expectations and I don't want to set the bar too high, but I always want to be pushing forward.

I'm not doing any more research on the story, but I'm going to spend more time getting to know my characters. My heroine needs to speak to me a little more so I can capture her correctly. My hero needs to step it up too since he's been shy about letting me know his secrets. Ah, the possibilities!

So, here's to new beginnings!

Have you ever started a story over from scratch because you felt you just hadn't captured the tone and characters just right? Were you excited about it, or overwhelmed? Any suggestions on how to make a great first impression at a new job? Lastly, what are you starting fresh and new lately?

24 comments:

Maureen said...

Wow, start from total scratch? Uh, no. I don't think so. I've revised so much I think that if I compared the first edition to the final...they might look like different books!

I've changed POV and it's been a real a drag...but to do something so drastic? Wowzer. Not that I don't have stories which could probably benefit from this sort of drastic slice and dice...

Hmmmmm!

Brave woman! Changing jobs, but I'm so proud of you! Here's to regular hours and a new family to win over to your brightness!

quantum said...

I often re-start my stories from scratch. Usually late at night after the scotch has been flowing. I press the annihilate button in disgust when that's what the writing deserves. Course I'm talking about short stories. I would be very reluctant to do that with a novel unless it really sucked!

Nevertheless there is something refreshing about a blank sheet of paper on an otherwise empty table with a pen lying hopefully at the side. The air can tingle, pregnant with possibilities as the whole universe of ideas waits for your first step into the unknown.

Sabrina, I applaud your courage and determination, both with the book and the job. Feels a bit like jumping in at the deep end to learn to swim though. But when you are young and beautiful you can do it. My old Ph.D. supervisor said that he liked throwing his best students in at the deep end. Young minds are flexible and resilient enough to find their way.

After passing the peak of brilliance, I think most tend to hang on to what they have .... its a tough old world out there at the moment. I wouldn't worry about creating a first impression. You just need to be relaxed, interested in the people, and eager to learn and listen. Just be yourself!

Marnee Bailey said...

I've never started from scratch. I should have, probably, on at least one occasion, but I haven't. Mostly because I haven't loved the characters that much to devote the time and energy to them. Probably a bad sign.

But I think La Nora does this, doesn't she? She writes a garbage draft and then chucks it. Right?

Good luck with your new job, Scape. I know you're going to be great. :)

Janga said...

Tons of good wishes, Scape, for both your courageous new ventures. May your sailing be smooth for both.

My job history is quite limited. I only held four full time jobs--all teaching positions. And I was at one school for 12 years and at the university for 22. But I've done my share of starting with new manuscripts. I love that stage where all dreams seem possible. I tend to start new things though rather than start over with something with which I've already reached my frustration level.

Terri Osburn said...

I agree with Q. Just be yourself and they are bound to love you. I have no doubt.

Re: starting over. Haven't done that before, but may have to do it now. This new book, as you say, feels wrong. I don't know what it is and I don't have the luxury of time to figure it out. Getting to know the character is an excellent idea. Mine simply aren't talking to me as much as others have. Maybe if I have a panic attack they'll feel sorry for me and open up.

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

Sorry I'm late! I was just stuck on I-4 (the road from hell I have to travel everyday at the current job) for 2 hours!

I'm convinced it wanted to give me one last day of crazy traffic. Only 2 more days to make that drive so I'm kind of scared what the next two days bring.

Thank you all for the well wishes on the job. I'm so excited.

I'm lucky that I'm not too far into the new book that I'm okay with completely starting over. If I were further along I might not be so cavalier about it!

MsHellion said...

Yes, I have. Multiple times. In fact, I did it with A&E's story. *pauses* Then after writing about 8 chapters with the new tone and way, I went back to the previous version and now I'm very close to the end...so whatever shakes loose the block, my friend...

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

Good to hear Hellie!

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

Anyone starting anything new lately? New hobby? Book? Do tell!

Terri Osburn said...

I need to start a new life. Anyone have a kit for that?

MsHellion said...

Yes, Terri, it's call REINCARNATION and I hear the landing is a bitch and you have to go through your teen years again. Think carefully. *LOL*

P. Kirby said...

I'm a job hopper. I hate working (the sentence could actually stop there and be totally accurate) anywhere more than two years. Been stuck in this stoopid church job for like six years. Going nutso with boredom. At a stage in my life, though, where I just don't even see the point of finding another job, since it's not like I'm in a career or anything like that. (Hoping I'll just get laid off.)

Currently debating starting ovah the space opera thing over. I hit about 70K words and ran out of steam. I'm feeling like the beginning starts too slow, i.e, in the wrong place. Maybe not a complete reboot. More like a serious hack 'n slash. Really need to run it past some beta readers and see what they think.

New hobby? Just signed up for belly dancing classes in June. This should be interesting since I'm a total klutz. If I survive that, I may sign up for an acting class later in the year.

Terri Osburn said...

Now you're just being mean.

Pat - I took belly dancing classes a few years ago. I love to dance and thought it would be good exercise. HATED it. I think it might have been the instructor/school, but whatever it was, I did not enjoy it.

P. Kirby said...

Uh-oh. Hopefully this teacher will be okay. If not, well, at least I tried something new. I'm in a rut.

MsHellion said...

I've taken belly dancing classes--and I got frustrated because I didn't feel like I was getting the things right and I didn't feel sexy or any of the things I thought bellydancing would impart. Attitude about trying new things is very important in this one. They focus a lot on practicing ISOLATED movements which can be so small you wonder, "Who the hell can tell if you're doing it right?"

Basically what I'm saying is it's like the beginning of a typing class with the old typewriters where you had to type b & n over and over and over again to prove you knew where to touch them on the keyboard. Remember those exercises? They were SO STUPID. They did NOTHING. Then you wrote dumb shit like, "The red fox leaped over the lazy dog." OVER AND OVER AND OVER and that too was a colossal waste of time, but you didn't have the luxury of quitting. So you kept doing it. You felt you were never, ever, ever improving.

Now you're typing on your keyboard and you realize those exercises were actually very important if you want to type over 4 words a minute.

Maureen said...

Something new...I'm not sure how to do that anymore. I have a lot of partially started things...sewing projects, things like that... Took Ballroom dancing lessons...that was nice!

Thinking of taking some lessons on stand up paddle boarding...

Yeah, Terri, there is a catch to reincarnation....

MsHellion said...

I TOTALLY WANT TO TRY LESSONS OF STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING! I think that would be so much fun! There is a "camp" for women where they can do awesome stuff like this.

Terri Osburn said...

Aren't you land-locked??

That looks fun, but I don't swim and I hate salt water (yes, I live at the beach), and I've heard it's MURDER on your arms. I'll just watch.

MsHellion said...

I can travel to an ocean, you know. And I'm sure it's murder on EVERYTHING, but I'd still love to try it.

MsHellion said...

http://www.surflasolas.com/

THIS.

Terri Osburn said...

Dude. I have NO desire to surf, but will take a trip to Puerto Vallarta anytime!

Maureen said...

We have the harbor, which is generally calm enough. And our surf is often calm enough, depending on where you are. And a few recreational lakes where one can learn... It's on our list for the summer..

Maureen said...

Oh, let's all go learn how to surf. Best Revenge adventure yet!

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