Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Feeling like a dork, slightly...

When I was in 8th grade, I wrote a novel. I scribbled away in 5 subject notebooks for the entire school year, and when I was finished I had 504 pages to show for it. All my friends read it as I wrote it, dog-earring the pages they had left off on and urging me to write more as quickly as I could so they could find out how it ended.

Now, over ten years later, I'm revisiting the novel. I had tried to type it out and edit it several times and had always wound up frustrated and editing, rather then typing. I finally enlisted the help of a friend (thanks, Danielle!) who I knew could just type it all out for me without feeling the same pressure to edit and perfect it that I was.

Finally, it is all typed out.

And now comes the absolutely massive job of trying to edit it. Trying to improve a love story I wrote at 13 when I knew nothing whatsoever of love. Adding depth to characters and suspense to a plot that runs 'round in circles sometimes, and during others just... is full of dead ends. (There were countless characters and scenes that were introduced that held no significance to the plot, that I have since removed.)

The biggest challenge?

This novel (don't laugh!) was based on a Hanson song. Mmmbop, Hanson? I know you're thinking, and yes, the very same. The song that inspired me was slow and haunting, and this novel followed it. Of course, there are also some very blatant Hanson references in the novel, such as...

1. Character names. Jamie, Katie, Johnny, Madeline, and Amy are all character names that were directly pulled from Hanson songs.
2. Character features. Nick, Eric and Johnny are, without a doubt, Taylor, Isaac and Zac Hanson, respectively. The similarities only go as far as actual looks (they're all blonde, skinny, long haired...) and the fact that they eventually form a band.
3. Oh my GOD Copyright laws. I have somehow managed to incorporate so many songs into this novel, it's unreal. Nick uses one song to explain to Jamie that "everything happens for a reason". Nick sings another song at Jamie to win her back at some point. Eric sings a similar song for a similar reason. Etc, etc.

The fact of the matter is, this book is 50% crap. A lot of it is good stuff that I can keep, but much of it will have to remain on the cutting room floor.

I thought at first that I would have to cut out or completely mask all Hanson-esque references... until I realized something today...

the entire musical "Mamma Mia!" was written by ABBA fans. ABBA had nothing to do with it at first, and even tried to stop them from making it.

And now? Look at how many people are being introduced to ABBA's music, now that Mamma Mia did so well in theaters. It did wonders for their popularity.

...was it possible that maybe, just MAYBE, Hanson might agree to let me use their likenesses/lyrics/whatever?

So I sent them an email.

I don't know if it will ever actually make it to them (their official website was completely devoid of any contact info, even for fanmail) but... it's out there in cyberspace somewhere.

I'm wishing now that when I saw them in concert back in 2003 I had had the foresight to speak to their father (he was running around with a video camera, I had multiple opportunities to stop him but never did, because what does one really say? "Um, hi, I like your sons!" ::awkward giggle::) and maybe make some kind of connection with him. I could have alternatively lingered after the show, as apparently Isaac came out to sign autographs mere seconds after I exited the building.

I am so dreadful at networking it is INSANE.

Either way, I definitely present myself more clearly through text then through speaking, so maybe this will work out. It would be pretty cool if it did.


streetlite_babe said...

Heya! its stina. oh my god i relate to this so much. i wrote this story soley off of that band Brand New...stopped listening to them years ago and reading it now, i just think i'm an idiot. I say, total rewrite. I have tons of notebooks that i picked out what was good from old stories and poems and dropped the rest on the cutting room floor. But hey ITS YOUR WRITING do whatever you feel makes you happy, you are your own worst critic but i'd love to read it anyway.

Eponine said...

I definitely am my own worst critic.

I do plan on printing it all out soon so that I can read through it and make actual physical red-pen editing notes (I think it would be easier to keep myself organized that way). Do you want to read that, or do you want to wait until it's done? (which could take awhile)

I'd like to read yours too!

(& thank you for the hug today. I am much better now, I just had an unbelievably shitty night that I won't discuss, and I'm the type of person that once I start crying it's really physically impossible to stop!)