Show Your Work: Time Travel Story

I’m trying to write a novel. Again.

Writing fiction is scary work for me. It’s hard. And I don’t think I’m very good at it. Plus there’s practically zero financial incentive.

But nobody writes books to make money.

You have to do it because you love it. Because you have a good idea inside that you can’t help but share with the world. It helps if the process of writing you occasionally find enjoyable.

I don’t know if I have a good idea or not, but it’s inside me and wants to get out. Every now and then there are times when the writing process is amazing. But especially with fiction there are long stretches when the words are wooden, the sentences flat and I wonder why I’m wasting perfectly good time that I could be doing nearly anything else.

I’ve started and stopped this latest novel a few times now. I’m trying again.

The motivation this time is that I realized the story I’m wanting to tell is a story I’d like to read to my children. I read to my kids nearly every day. We read lots of different books and now that we’re reading middle grade novels and not rhyming picture books, I really enjoy it. I love reading a book that captures my kids attention. I love reading a book that has wonderful words, spectacular phrasing and dialogue that makes me try to be a performer and not a mere reader.

I wonder if I can write that kind of book.

I probably can’t.

I’ve written three novels and have never been able to get them past a second draft to a point where I’d say they’re finished. I have a hard time following through.

It’s not that I’m lacking confidence, it’s that I’m trying to be realistic.

Yet I have this idea. It keeps working on me, spinning in the back of my head, trying to become something. It’s about a reluctant time traveler.

2 thoughts on “Show Your Work: Time Travel Story”

  1. One thought: Consider whether you’re writing in the right genre. I love to read science fiction, which is why I thought I might want to write science fiction, but I’ve lately wondered whether my true calling as a writer is erotic fiction.

  2. That’s a great question, Julio. My trepidation tells me I may not be in the right genre. I tried writing a sci-fi action novel a while back, and it felt pretty terrible. I don’t think I did action very well.

    I feel like non-fiction prose or memoir is more my wheelhouse. I really enjoy writing it and I feel like it’s good (though I could just be full of myself).

    But I still have this time travel idea. It keeps gnawing at my brain, so I think I need to give it a shot.

    (Though now you have me thinking how I could write the time travel story as a memoir. Oh boy.)

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