At the beginning of the year, I set out to make a sizable dent in my novel, Retribution. In the process, I discovered that my story sucked. As the novel stood, it was riddled with holes and contradictions. It was over-simplified in places, too complicated in others. It was a completely unworkable piece of garbage.
Coming to that conclusion was painful. I was left feeling beaten and discouraged. So, I did what any self-respecting writer would do when faced with such a situation. I set the manuscript on fire in my outdoor barbecue and I walked away.
Oh, wait. That’s only me? Real writers don’t do that?
When I walked away, I felt relieved. It was like a huge burden had been lifted off of my shoulder. I carried forward the hope that my creativity would once again flow freely, and I could move on to something fresh and exciting. All I wanted to do was put this failure firmly behind me.
For a while, that’s exactly what I did – moved on. I roughly sketched out a new story idea with a protagonist inspired by a brilliant, young biologist I know. She has long intrigued me and it seemed like the perfect time to explore the idea of her further. I have eight solid chapters and an opening sequence outlined.
Progress! I’m on my way.
I haven’t touched this new story – I’ve tentatively entitled it The Faction – in a month. Hell, I haven’t even told my writing group about it.
Because I can’t concentrate on it. I find that I am holding back, hesitating. I can’t seem to allow the story to envelop me, take root, and grow.
Because Anna won’t leave me the hell alone.
It began with a whisper – feather soft, barely audible, across my ear. Just a passing word carried on the wind. Then, the noise began to build. Its invocation more demanding, more imperious. That whisper evolved. Soon it turned from a hushed hum into a deafening roar inside my head. At every turn Anna screamed at me. She taunted me, cursed me, begged me to tell her story; to finish what I had started, to give her the vengeance that she seeks so that she may finally know peace.
I am not a spiritual person by nature, but I am superstitious and hold to the belief that there are things in this life that happen because they were meant to be. I thought Retribution was dead. I thought I had buried Anna and her secrets, but somehow the road has led me back to her.
Back to Baku, where her story began and where I must begin anew. It seems Anna will not rest until I have given her what she desires most.