Sunday, September 23, 2012

no more conferences, etc. on writing ... I mean it this time

For a long time, I wrote substantially without really 'knowing' (whatever that means) what I was doing.

Then I thought I'd become more professional ... all of the joy went out and was replaced by self-doubt ... kind of like a kid who loves to make mud pies and then giving them America's Test Kitchen's recipe for the perfect mud pie ... no more pies wind up getting made.

I have spent time worrying if I am a plotter or a pantser (do I make an outline or do I let the characters drive things) ... am I showing too much or telling too much?  just how boring am I, really? (very but that's not the point of this).

The other night I forced myself back to the keyboard and let a couple of favorite characters 'talk' to me ... and then I sent it to a couple of friends ... 200 words, no more.  Then I thought about it ... and I expanded it.

I put meat on the bone.  I am the opposite of the butcher who takes something big and makes it smaller ... and I don't necessarily know if I am going to wind up with a fillet mignon or New York strip ...

It isn't exactly an outline ... and daily I add to the beginning of what I have started ... I bounce ideas from those who are near and dear ... and who love a couple of specific characters to see if I am in character ... THEN I let things move, ebb and flow ...

I am not an expert and I don't play one on TV (or anywhere else anyone is likely to be) ... but I do know what works for me ... and I am invoking WWII's Winston Churchill - Keep Calm and Carry On ... ok - it is a paraphrase but you know what I mean.


Hunter said...

I'd love to play, but I have to warn you. I wrote fiction for a long time and then made my living writing hardware and software manuals.

I was great at tech writing, but it really changed the way I view words.

Extra words became my enemy and I worked very hard to boil every word down to its carcass.

I had so many reviewers of everything I wrote that it's almost impossible for me to write and show anyone.

I feel as though I can't string more than five words together without making a grammatical error.

I'm writing again and I'm going to post as much as I can stand to post on my blog.

My characters appear one by one and then I throw them together and see what happens.

I've promised myself to write every day even if it's only for five minutes.

"Keep Calm and Carry On." I like it.


lizzy said...

rying this again, babe! Delete if i t s a double post..

You guys KNOW I'm bossy, right? And I gotta tell need to lighten up and enjoy the process. Tell us your stories, we *want* to read them. Please. No test kitchens, no stupid conferences, no betas. We---I---will love your mud pies. I promise. And Hunter! You need to stop worrying, fiction is not tech writing, the airplane wings won't fall off if you put a comma wrong! Again, I promise...
Looking forward to reading any/ all--rough drafts welcome, opinions given only if asked.
you know where to find me!