I am reviewing a novella I have been working on whenever I could feel like it. Because so many years have passed I have had to review who I am writing for. When I started the project I was 4 years younger than I am now, had just started university and thought anything I had to write was great. Having finished my English Literature degree and discovered that I do not know all there is to know about writing, I have had to go back to the drawing board. The general gist and outline of the story has remained the same but the way I have chosen to write the story has undergone a massive overhaul. I was thinking about the changes made in terms of the writing style this morning and began to ask myself: who are you writing for and why.
The novella is different from simply telling the story because I have always wanted it to be semi autobiographical. The project started after a huge heartbreak and change in my life and was my ‘keep busy thing’. Writing the story helped me to try and make sense of life and answer questions about myself in a well thought out and patient manner. Telling the story helped me to get over myself and the hurt and see the bigger picture. Writing the novella did a lot more than keeping me busy, it by gave me purpose. I felt I had to write the story so that people who had gone through similar pain and change would not live their lives in regret and bitterness. However now I have healed, moved on and do not have the same pain and emotional cloud over my eyes, the way I view the story has changed.
I am writing this blog post to make sense of the change and decide how much of the emotion should be removed from the way I tell the story and how much should stay. For example I had a big crying scene write at the beginning of the story. It was really heavy, deep and dark. For the past 3 years I thought it was great for setting the scene and really getting into the mind of the protagonist. However now that I am no longer torn apart and have grown out of that pain, the passage is looking very much like purple prose. It feels heavy in a burdensome and inaccessible way; too much for the reader to get into only 3 pages into the story. I have removed the passage but cannot help thinking about how my own emotional state largely impacts the way I write. It is a wonderful journey reviewing work and seeing how changes in my personal life are reflected in the way I write.
Do you find the same thing happens to you?