Saturday, May 21, 2011

Editing (Oh how I hate it)


You guessed it.

It's editing season. Dreadful, hated, editing season. Well--I correct myself. For the members of the One Year Adventure Novel forums who wish to enter the end-of-year novel contest, it is editing season. I am a member of OYAN, therefore I am in the middle of editing season. And I hate it.

I am currently sitting at the table of one of my dearest friends, typing up a blog post on how much I hate editing while she is plowing her way through my novel, declaring it exciting.

To me, it is an atrocity that should never again see the light of day, but apparently she and several other people have, well, different opinions.

I honestly don't know what makes me think my writing is so terrible. If I look at it subjectively, just as another piece of writing, then it's not so bad after all. The writing is good, decent even.

If I look at it as the author, I hang my head in despair and slam my head against the nearest hard surface. It's awful. My characters are bland, dry, two-dimensional. I hate my novel.

Now, I suppose that at some point I will retract my words of pure hatred and decide I love my novel again; however, that moment is far in my future. So what, you ask, was the point of this blog post? I was merely ranting out my insecurities as an author and offering encouragement to those who are also stuck in the throes of rewriting--you are not alone.

~Mercia Dragonslayer

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Truly Great Story

I read a story today.

It was just an online story, and though it was well over 100,000 words, it was fanfiction. I won't tell you what fandom it was, or where I read it, because that's completely irrelevant. If the author sees this, I think she'll know what I'm talking about.

Dear Fanfiction Author,

I'm Mercia Dragonslayer, and I want to tell you how your story has changed my life.

First of all, I know it's been, literally, YEARS since you finished this, but I ran across it today and read it, and came out sobbing. It is truly magnificent, and I think you did [author] justice.

And I want to thank you, because you've taught me something about stories that I never should have forgotten. Sure, we should strive for entertainment, and fun, and just for the cause of loving to write. We should write for our neighbors to have something to read. Heck, we can even write to become famous and make money, if we want.

But most of all, we should write to move people. We should write to make a difference and change people.

A truly great story will take humanity and twist it, showing the reader his own hateful self. Because, honestly, there is no hope for humanity. We are all so terrible, horrible, hateful, rebellious. Everything that can be done that is evil, we have done it. A good story takes his hopelessness and magnifies it. We look at ourselves, our evil, hated selves, and want to hide away. Tears flow as we realize that all throughout history, people have tried again and again to purge the human race, but have all failed. We cannot make ourselves better. We will fail.

But a truly great story doesn't stop there. It takes the hopelessness of man and shows the light of hope. There is always a ray of hope--Someone watching down on us, who knows of our depravity and wants to make us better. Someone who CAN make us better. A truly great story points us to this Someone, even if it never mentions Him by name.

I don't know if you know Him, but I think that your story points to Him anyway, whether you want it to or not. Because I believe that a truly great story has to point to the Maker and Savior of all things, because otherwise it wouldn't have a purpose.

I don't know if you'll ever get this, but if you do, please let me know. Your story, fanfiction or no, is a truly great story, and it has completely changed my life. Thank you so much for writing it.

~Mercia Dragonslayer