It’s Tuesday, January 3rd and I’m sitting here trying to decide what I want to write for my IWSG post. I’m not feeling particularly insecure today. I found out over the weekend that I was the ‘Runner UP’ in the December WEP Challenge and for me, that was a pretty big deal.
Now, you might be thinking, Geez! that’s second place (or as my kids would say, the first loser-rude as that may be), but coming in second out of twenty on only my second time entering this Challenge, was a pretty big deal to me. ALSO, the piece I entered was one of the short stories that I have been accumulating as part of my ‘memoir’. Yeah, you read that right, I’ve been working on a memoir. I had started thinking that it would never see the light of day. Why? Because it’s so personal. Let me explain.
I had the good fortune to be raised by two especially wacky people. I’m an only child and my parents were well into their forties when I was born. They had tried before and my mother suffered numerous miscarriages and even a still born baby. I never doubted for a minute that I was loved and wanted. I admit while I was a teenager there were moments when I doubted my love and/or need for them, but in retrospect…what a fool I was. My mother left this world way too early and needless to say I was much too young to be without her, but that’s a choice we don’t get to make. Daddy lived to be ninety and we had our ups and downs but, today I can honestly say I am who I am because of them and their somewhat unorthodox upbringing.
My love for them and the personal nature of my ‘memoir stories’ make them hard to share. As a writer I’m learning to develop a thicker skin when it comes to critiques of my work, but when it comes to the non-fiction of my life, it’s a whole ‘nother story. I’m very protective of my parents and the memories of our life together. I’m worried that I don’t have the skill to tell these stories in a manner that would convey the love, devotion and even the spiritual nature of our relationship, through some of the outrageous experiences we’ve shared.
Anyway… this brings me back to the WEP Challenge ‘Runner Up’ win. What an incredible boost to not only my ego, but the possible release of some of these stories that are so near and dear to my heart.
The IWSG question of the month is:
What writing rule do you wish you had never heard?
BACKSTORY! That pesky rule that says never ever have an ‘info dump’ of BACKSTORY, but rather dole it out slowly. Sometimes that’s very hard. Sometimes all that BACKSDTORY, sets the time, place, or world of the story. Sometimes that BACKSTORY is integral to character development.
I’ve had several critiques of a WIP that uses BACKSTORY in exactly this (these really, because it’s more than one) reason, and the critiques are conflicting. they go from, ‘Never ever do this.’ To, ‘go ahead and break this rule, because it’s really good and necessary’. I get confused and feel conflicted. I guess I’ll just have to go with my gut and submit it with the BACKSTORY as an info dump and let the professionals tell me, if this is a rule that can be broken, and if I have the skill to break it properly.
I have always had a hard time with rules. Go ahead, blame my parents.
The IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh, today it has grown so much, he has a lot of help pulling it off. If you want to know more, or would like to read other insightful posts on this topic, please go HERE for a complete list of the participants. While you’re there give a shout-out and thank you to Mr.
Cavanaugh and the others who work so hard to bring this monthly blog-hop your way.