I have a good friend who is also a writer. We happen to have been writing together for the last almost eight years. When we write together, it’s in a particular structure because of the need to work asynchronously. Anyway, I suggested to this friend a writing exercise with her own fiction based on this approach–and then I decided to try it myself.
The result? Something that I’m excited about. Not only did it help me get into a story I had started several times and still felt distanced from, but it meets some criteria that I have for my work right now:
- I want to try to tell a story in a way that isn’t commonly used in novels.
- Even though this story follows another character in my book, my linking character still gets a say.
- I get to tell a 17th-century story in a modern way.
Will I keep this going for the whole book? I don’t know yet. I’m just at the start of it, but I know it’s exciting to write this story in this way. I don’t want to get into details just yet–suffice to say that it’s something that’s been tickling my mind for awhile now and I’ve never actually tried it until yesterday.
I’m excited to write the rest of this submission and send to my mentor for her thoughts. At the very least, even if I’m starting my thesis from scratch at the start of my third semester, I know I’ll be able to look back and say that in my first semester, I really got to know my main character and my themes, and I became familiar with the research enough to write a story set in this time (there’s still more research to do, of course). I’ll be able to look back and say that in my second semester, I really forced myself to stretch and grow as a writer, trying new styles, structures, and voices.
This will be my third out of four submissions, and already it’s taken me to unexpected places as a writer, thinker, and human.