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Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Land of Abandonment

Lindsay Klug here again! The best advice I’ve ever received on writing came from a high school creative writing teacher. She said, very simply, “Write what you love.”

I have a folder on my desktop labeled ‘Abandon’. It’s called this because these are stories I’m throwing to the wayside, that I can’t finish for one of two reasons. The story refuses to progress or has died, or I hate the premise.

But why would you start a story you hate? Well, just like everyone else, I like to leave my comfort zone now and again. I write paranormal or contemporary, always with action, always with fights, and never erotic. Sensual, yes, but erotic is an area which is intimidating for me and I just haven’t ventured into it.

Once, I penned an entire story as a sweet erotic romance. It took me three weeks, and only that short of time because I despised the story and wanted nothing more than to finish it. I did my characters wrong there, and eventually I’ll bring them back and recreate a life for them. For now, they sit in the dreaded Abandon folder to languish in the crap story I put them in.

Another time, I wrote a story specifically for a submission call. I learned my lesson with that one. This story took a long time to complete. It was a violent and despicable piece, to fit the guidelines. I had to leave and come back to it, and I still cannot listen to a song which played during one scene without flashing back to the story. Unfortunately, it was rejected and I threw that one into the Land of Abandon without a second thought. Should I die and someone tries to publish everything I’ve written, my last breath will specify this one not see the light of day.

The Abandon folder has about seven files in it, which does nothing to counterbalance the fifty three works in progress on my desktop. No, wait. Fifty one. I managed to finish two. No. Fifty two. I started another.
At least I’m writing what I love.

Speaking of love, here’s the blurb for a story that took me two years to write, another year to edit, and another year to find a home for. Meet Abby, who’s the narrator of What I’ve Learned:

Abigail Jones is a former prostitute who buys her freedom from a Mexican cartel boss and forges a new life. Secure in the knowledge that she's escaped her past, Abigail's world falls apart when her brother's head is delivered to her in a brown paper box. And when the cartel boss sends an assassin to take her life, Abigail can't deny the danger she faces.

Encumbered with her brother's infant son and gripped by fear, Abby shares her story and the evidence her brother accumulated about the cartel to the police and finds herself abruptly thrust into Witness Protection.   Beginning a new life as Quinn, the recently divorced mother of little Paul and middle school guidance counselor, Abby is moved to a quiet neighborhood with quaint houses and white picket fences.

While Abby struggles to recreate herself and tries to focus on conforming to the rules of the program, not to mention life with a small child, the cartel continues their search for her.  And although life seems to slowly return to some form of normalcy, little does Abby know that her past is slowly closing in on her.

Here's the links: My website, blog, and where to buy my books. Thanks for reading!


Mara said...

Thanks for the incite about your writing process. I'm always curious about how writers do what they do!
marajbrandon AT earthlink DOT net

Laura Ann Dunks said...

Excellent advice. I hope I will have the sense to bin ideas which wont work.

Your story sounds amazing as well.

LAura xxx

Toni said...

WOW - how do you keep them all clear? Congrats on the completion of the above project. It must have been nice to see it finished and published after such a long time. Great job!


Anonymous said...

Hopefully your Abandoned folder is really just a "wait until your ready to tell the story" folder. Who knows, maybe some of your abandoned characters belong in a different abandoned book? Just a thought. :)

User1123 AT comcast DOT net

Na said...

I agree that writers should write what they love and that will really show in the story. You never know maybe one day some of your abandoned works if they are meant to be might one day inspire you to try them again and make them better.