Bess is a mess. I tinkered, I deconstructed, then school got away from me and I ran out of everything even resembling free time, and now I have nothing left even resembling a story.
I also didn’t win NaNoWriMo for the first time in a few years. I blame school. It has, however, been fun to watch other people win, and even though I’m not the best cheerleader in the group I’m still trying to encourage and congratulate those who finish.
But this isn’t really about NaNoWrimo. I’ve got to get something else off my chest:
While I was watching the new Gilmore Girls over the weekend (yeah, yeah – instead of writing – so maybe school isn’t entirely to blame) I got this twisty-tangled feeling about the writing. Some of it was bad. It’s possible that a lot of it was bad, but I was too sentimental to realize it. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved going back to Stars Hollow and checking in with some of my favorite characters in fiction, I definitely cried a couple times, and that one scene with Luke in the kitchen was probably some of the best character-driven writing I’ve ever seen. All of those things can still be true and the writing can overall be terrible.
I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers, but the phrase “full circle” was used about half a dozen times, two characters had a really awkward conversation for the sake of nothing else except what I’m about to write next, and then we got those infamous “last four words” that made me think all seven hours of TV had been written solely for the sake of getting those four words on screen. This wasn’t good theme work, hell it wasn’t even “telegraphing” – it was Three Stooges-style bashing-the-audience-over-the-head. That doesn’t respect the audience—even in such low-brow media as an early-2000s television show that featured more pop culture references than actual plot developments—and that should be enough to satisfy the definition of bad writing.
The show did fix some things, if only in the way that wistfully imagined conversations with former lovers can put a neat bow on a once-broken heart. We got to see people say the things we never get to say in real life, and that let the writers retcon several relationships from the original series into foils for preceding (and, in one instance, “current”) relationships. It’s better to have had these conversations than none at all, but throwing almost every character from such a large ensemble cast back in the mix made several of the interactions seemed forced, which made them more than a little bittersweet.
And in trying to figure out why all of this was so frustrating, because—again—I really did enjoy the revival and it was in almost every way all that I could possibly have hoped for, I couldn’t decide if I was wishing I could have edited it, or thinking about writing a fanfix (is that word? it should be), or if I was just despondent because my subconscious mind was tired of my conscious mind being all holier-than-thou when it was also utterly abandoning its obligation to just fucking write.
Which is all to say, I failed. Hard. And in critiquing the Palladinos’ efforts to bring Gilmore Girls back to the screen—which, let’s be honest, should earn them some sort of prize or medal or giant parade in addition to however many buckets of money Netflix has already given them—I found something I’d lost without realizing it. School isn’t to blame at all. My heart just wasn’t in NaNoWriMo this year. And my heart isn’t in Bess or Charlie or Daniella or any of the characters I sketched out when this project started. But my heart is in the game. And I’ll keep writing.