Make my story of narc abuse into a novel?
With Holy Week next week, I don’t plan to post my usual new posts or do much updating to the blog. There simply won’t be time, and I’ll need to focus on the many church services (one to two PER DAY!).
The blog takes up much of my writing time, but over time I hope to complete two projects:
1) Turning my solar system story-game into a children’s book. Then, later on, my other childhood story-games.
2) Turning the Richard/Tracy story into a book. Whether a novel or creative nonfiction, I’m not sure yet. Both forms would turn the autobiographical material into scenes, which automatically fictionalizes it. So I would have more room to play with the story, turn it into some kind of literary work far beyond the limited scope of an abuse blog.
But “creative nonfiction” has to all be basically true; you are turning the vagueness of memory into dialogue and scene. With a novel, I could add or delete characters, change things, maybe even add a vampire or two. 😉 At this point, it’s just a few paragraphs in a file, roughing it out, no clear direction yet.
I’m not entirely sure what to do with it; I don’t want it to languish in the glut of abuse memoirs. It has to be something which could sell, not the same old hackneyed theme. (Abuse memoirs are useful and popular for blogs, but putting them into marketable books becomes far more challenging.)
I don’t want it to be some abuse memoir sitting next to ten other abuse memoirs, when instead it could be, say, examining the emotional fallout when one’s idol and religious mentor falls, based on fact but with a fictional setting. In other words, in movie terms, more Sundance than Lifetime.
As I revise my blog, I see so many potential themes in my story which could be put to good use: betrayal by a religious mentor, and struggling to find belief in God again afterwards, for one. I could make a shining jewel out of this darkness.
Also, the more I see people subscribing to my blog and connecting with the posts that skewer my abusers’ sociopathic e-mail to me (see here), the less and less power that sociopathic e-mail retains over me. I realize that my abusers have not been back at my church for two and a half years.
I realize that I feel mostly content these days, because I’m busy at church and Writer’s Club, and people in both places call me Friend. This helps remove any residual emotional attachment to Richard.
My abusers do not have the ability to sue, no legal leg to stand on, so their e-mail had only an emotional power to hurt me. Once I remove the emotional power, all their power to hurt me is gone.
So I have a happy ending to give this book, power to give to others.
In any case, my creative juices need to flow again, not be restricted to blogging. Especially since I need some new material to bring into Writer’s Club workshops. 🙂
The trouble is, I still have to revise such a large portion of this website/blog: December’s theme update screwed up the quotes. Also, I need to check each post for grammar, readability and outdated links. And it takes at least an hour a night just to fix these things. Argh!
And I have no clear direction yet, just a germ of an idea. So it will be slow-going to begin with.
But hey, after watching Being John Malkovich last night, I read that it started simply as, Married man falls in unrequited love with another woman. And look what that turned into!
[Update 4/5/15:] I first got this idea while reading Pioneer Girl, the introduction of which describes Rose Wilder Lane’s “creative nonfiction.”
I think I have sorted it out: Write a rough draft which is totally, brutally true, including even the details I’ve never told anyone, things which I’m sure Richard doesn’t want me to write. Yes, Richard, I still remember it all.
[Update 4/7/15: This exercise just brought back memories I long since forgot, and it troubled me….Basically, simply by putting into scenes the times he pushed the boundaries, I remembered how close we once were, how comfortable with each other, which for me is rare.
It brought back why his betrayal and true character were so astounding and devastating. Yet another reason to just rough a draft and then set it all aside for many years. This story is full of the stuff of drama, the stuff that people want to read, but it is still too raw to bring out in a novel just yet.]
Go into detail about things I only hinted at here, what he did, how he worked me over until I believed all his justifications and lies and thought he did nothing at all improper. For my own peace of mind, my own purging.
Fudging only as needed to fill out missing parts of my memory or things which I should’ve said but probably didn’t, for dramatic purposes or to complete a scene.
Then let it sit for ten years. Gain perspective. See if anybody ever repents in that time, or if anything else happens, if more becomes clear.
During that time, turn my college memoirs and childhood memories into a series of marketable books and stories, and my childhood stories into children’s books. My college memoirs now depict 20-year-old happenings, so I am emotionally distant from them and can be more objective.
They’re also full of the stuff of drama: sex, lies, abuse, and of course, humor. Finally begin my writing career in earnest, not just some half-heartedly-promoted self-published books.
Then turn back to the story. Cut, add, change, do whatever it requires to be marketable. Make it art and NOT a revenge piece. See how much I want to be made public and how much needs to go to my grave with me.
Then retire my blogs about it here, and submit it for publication under a new pseudonym. Whether my abusers ever find it, or forget all about it, who knows.
They already appear to finally be losing interest in my blog, which was the last connection they still had to me after they abandoned their church stalking campaign.