Why Am I Rewriting My Novella?

Why Am I Rewriting My Novella?

I have wanted to be a writer from a young age. The irony is that at the age of eight, I could barely read or write effectively. I had no interest in either. I would rather use my imagination to battle enemies at the gate, shoot spies trying to end the world or build cities of lego.

To think that just a few years later at the age of 12, I would dream of using that same imagination to write and tell my own stories. The change was thanks to my Auntie and parents, who for my eighth birthday gifted me the first three books in the Harry Potter series. My parents proceeded to read them to me, and those stories sparked a blaze within me.

I wanted to consume more and more stories. The relationship with literature began with a small wizard under the stairs. It sparked a romance that resulted in me focused on one thing: writing.

Writing is the key to everything in my life.

I recently read an article by Jacob Geers about his brief history of writing. In it, he described two occasions with his instructor on his Creative Writing course. The first was his instructor telling them to “Think about the darkest moment of your life,”

“Think about your biggest regret. Think about the thing that haunts you the most.”

“That’s what you’ll be writing about in this class.”

“Write about things that matter.”

A similar realisation came to me when I finished my degree course. That led me to confront my past and write The Faggot Journal. I haven’t stopped facing it since.

Writing is my way of telling stories in a way that represents my perspective on the world. It is a way for me to work through the different issues that affect me including my sexuality, mental health and more. I used it to get my message and opinion on a range of topics. I used it as part of my job as a content writer.

Learning my craft

I am invested currently in learning more and more about the craft. I am rewriting a novella I wrote a few years ago while planning to publish the said novella in its current form on my blog. Also I’m writing my memoir on my dealing with my sexuality and coming out after a suggestion from my best friend that my story could in a small way help others. Idea after idea flows from my mind that I could use in a future writing project.

It is all strange to imagine because seventeen years ago, I wanted to be a spy with zero interest in reading or writing. But here I am trying to learn my craft.

That is why I am rewriting the novella that I have just published on this blog. The Journal was originally titled The Faggot Journal and I self-published it on Amazon.

It needed a change

Until recently, it never sat right with me. I liked what I’d done, but I also knew that I hadn’t done the best I could. Therefore, I pondered over it for almost a year, until one day I had a moment of clarity.

I was recollecting my suicidal history from years ago when it hit me. What if on the first or second occasion that I considered suicide, Death noticed me and chose to keep an eye on me. That led to me considering using Death as a first person narrator for the rewrite of the Journal (that is itself a fictional retelling of my coming out).

This idea so inspired me that I immediately wrote an opening page, removed The Faggot Journal from Amazon and started the work of planning out how the rewrite would look.

Keeping friends for inspiration

However, as a result of telling my best friend about this idea, he also said why don’t I just skip the fictional side and write my own, honest memoir. This idea immediately lit a fire inside me, latching onto the idea and running with it.

The second occasion Jacob described was when another student raised the fact that a successful writer had written about the same event twice to some success. According to Jacob, this was meant as a criticism by the speaker, but his instructor took a different view.

“If you can write well about one thing, that’s great!” our instructor said after we were all done debating amongst ourselves. “If you can write well about one thing, that’s all that matters. And if you’re talented enough for people to be interested about re-reading the same story from a different angle of yours, that’s more impressive still.”

It is what has led me to write both my memoir and rewrite the Faggot Journal in a new form. The first is to tell my own genuine story without a fiction cover. The second is to focus on my craft of fictional writing, but also exploring additional themes that have come to light as I have pondered over my past more and more.

I control my past

“For those who control the past, control the future,” Orwell wrote, and I control my past. I will tell my story the way I wish to say it for my reasons.

I love writing and my story and many others like it give me so many opportunities to play with my craft. Let’s hope you have enjoyed my current rendition of the Journal.

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