Writing and I have a difficult relationship.
Our relationship has been especially difficult as of late, since my return to Wattpad. Wattpad and I *also* have a difficult relationship, but to stop this from becoming a five-thousand page tome I won’t comment, apart from: it’s *really* hard to get noticed on bigger sites, despite the quality or social relevance of your work. You submit what you believe to be your magnum opus for editor’s pick, just to get no response. So you write another magnum opus, more tailored to what you believe acceptable. Second verse same as the first. At the end of the day, I will not relinquish my authorial experimentality. If I can’t write my weird heart out, I don’t wanna’ write at all. And if I have to write what’s wanted—i.e. good girl/bad boy romances and BTS fics—then I’d just as soon relocate. BTS is great; I just feel the fic market is saturated enough without my input.
My interests lie elsewhere, in the philosophical, the spoopy, the bizarre. I’m not a romantic by nature, so that puts me at odds with WP from the jump. Interestingly enough, these interests once put me at odds with talent itself. Should I go into that yet? Why not.
I’ve written for the majority of my sorta-brief life on this planet. As a wee lass I’d scribble my fantasies. The fascination was always kind of a fixture for me. A hiatus found me a bit older, rustily returning to the game, ambitiously trying my hand at a concept a decade or so too mature for where I was at. I am convinced the result was one of the worst, most bloated acts of pretension ever committed to paper. It was AGONIZING.
The warm-up was better, a story about abused animals turning against humanity. That one was neat. But this one—an endless diatribe packaged as a character study, affectionately dubbed “The Love”—was unclean on a cellular level. It centered around a gritty young orphan, from losing her mother to consumption, to being snared by the streets, taken in by an orphanage, befriending a sheepish boy, and defending said boy when bullies tried to rob him. That defense culminated in a few of the bullies being killed. So by nine the co-protag is a killer, hauled in to a sanitarium, and forced to live among every shade of mental illness imaginable. Her story elapses in tandem with the assassination of the country’s king, and the ascent of his young son to the throne after spending his early childhood in hiding. A royal ball is thrown and Warri, the co-protag, manages to escape the sanitarium and attend. It’s there she actually talks with the young king, and they strike up a bond. But the king is soon arranged to marry another girl, who’s really spoiled and bratty. A bunch of stuff happens, that I don’t care to remember. The spoilt princess ends up dead at Warri’s hand, igniting the ire of her father. To save his mother in exile, and of course the guilty party Warri, the young king gives himself over to be punished for the killing. But at the last minute Warri steps in and rightfully takes the rap. And they bid their farewells as she’s flown away to prison.
The concept, as mentioned, is decent. Flawed, but decent. The story...is mostly just flawed. Younger me seemed to conflate “wise writing” with “endless big-worded rambling” so that’s what you usually got. Younger me also seemed to conflate descriptions of nature (and the neverending onslaught of metaphors and similes it entailed) with...prodigious writing. And that’s okay to an extent. I’m not one to knock a good metaphor. But when you spend like thirty pages describing the sky, it tends to wax tedious. The sky descriptions were probably longer than the actual scenes they encompassed. Though I don’t know for sure. It’s been a small eternity and I’m not going back to check. I know characters did like to monologue, so it might’ve been a tossup. Adults liked to monologue. Children liked to monologue. I think there was even a toddler that monologued, and no, I am not making that up. Younger me tried to naturalize it by playing her off as a genius. In reality I just couldn’t write for a toddler. I also couldn’t write for nine-year-olds. Or adults. Or humans in general.
The interactions were probably mind-numbing.
Another one of my problems was hoarding. That’s not often a word you hear associated with writing, but let me explain. I was a hoarder of sentences. I’d describe something decently, and be so impressed by my own description that even if there were two other close-proximity descriptions describing the exact same thing...I’d still keep the third, and fourth, and fifth. That was probably more of an ego thing, in hindsight. Imagine! A girl so young stringing sentences together so beautifully! Sure, she’s saying the exact same thing over and over, but every iteration is so majestic we don’t care.
I filled so many notebooks with this story. I should probably apologize to the trees for that.
Hopefully my wordletting helped expel the cringe from my system. It didn’t expel all of it, by far. Cringe runs deep for a young, aspiring author. I tried my hand at a bunch more stories, but they usually fizzled out before the end. I could complain about those too, but then this post would balloon to unnerving lengths and I think it’s already ballooned enough.
Instead I’ll just leave you with this factoid.
The first sentence of The Love mentions the sun. I think it’s setting. Rising? Setting? Whichever one it was, I got the direction wrong. Either the sun was rising in the west or setting in the east (I still had to look up which ways were right, ngl).
So if openers are supposed to be indicative of things to come—this one succeeded.
Whenever my high horse discovers stilts, I have to remind myself that for every “the gunmetal sky was already beginning to tarnish” I still have ten ‘suns rising in the west’, so to speak. I’ll stumble across the dumbest mistakes, which shall in turn re-rouse the adage of a wise philosopher: “Sit down. Be humble.” (Kendrick Lamar)
(Oh. And the genius toddler was Warri. Warri was a genius.)