Tag Archives: Writing

Writer’s Log: 1301

So, yes, I did have to splurge with an extra pint or two of writer’s blood squirted from my wrist-severed arteries at the wall of creativity. Ooh, does that look like Galadrial (Sissy Spacek style…?)

And I would say that, looking back at the process that produced this exquisite expose’ of narrative bliss, those that say you must sit-the-hell-down-and-write-the-fuck-out-of-your-story-UNTIL-IT-IS-DONE! are bite-the-head-off-the-chipmonk wrong. Yes, they’re that bloody wrong.

Not all the time they’re that wrong. If you have a straight month of ten hours a day to burn writing fiction, then sure, I can see that they’re on the leaning-in side of right. But just barely, tipping like they’re about to fall into the pond if they lift an eyebrow at what I’m about to say next…

Which is, take your damn time. Re-read everything you’ve written to date. Review and revise and revisit and redo whatever it is you don’t like about your story up to that point.

Kerplunk!

How the hell else will you maintain continuity over an extended period of writing time? Say you can only write at night, for an hour, three times a week, every third month, during leap years? Of course you’ll have to go back and read what you’ve previously penned. “What the hell did Siegfried say he was going to do if he found Myrtle, ass-end-up in the bath with Roy?” Do you remember? I sure as hell don’t. Well, you better go back to the beginning and reengage your consistency engine…

The point is, for me personally, I was able to take seven months and write a pretty good story. And the only way I could do that was by cycling back again and again to the beginning to recapture the tone, the plot, the voice of the characters. So, bollocks to those that say you must write your novel in a flurry. NaNoWriMo my ass!


In addendum…

One aspect that also affects one’s ability to saddle-up and get wrangling those words right out of the chute is — ya can’t. I can’t. Writing is not like wrangling horses, chopping wood, working in a kitchen, or construction or any of hundreds of jobs where the task it set and a pattern is established for the work at hand.

Writing, to me, takes flow; takes presence of mind. It takes rolling a handful of marbles over the chinese-checkerboard of my mind until they all find their own personal niche: boop, boop, boop. And this takes time. Re-reading of prior chapters, perhaps. Or just note taking while I envision, not just the story, but the voice (my voice) and those of my characters. Again, this takes time, often an hour or more while I bump around, avoiding the task, but thinking about the story… Until the groove starts to show itself.

Writing without a groove is work. And yeah, I’m doing that right this instant. But when it’s story time, and I’m groovin’ with the flow of the plot and the conflict and the enchanting sounds of the words in my mind as they tinkle from my fingers through the keys and onto the screen, well, that there’s pleasure. Not considered work at all.

Trying to cram write? Sorry, but, fuck that.

 

 

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You’re writing for me

As a fiction writer, you are not writing for yourself. You can write for yourself, but don’t expect anyone else to read it. Just twiddle away, write your hundreds of words a day, living in that artificial world you’ve constructed and enjoy it. But don’t expect ME to enjoy it.

You see, if you’re writing for an audience, then you have to realize you’re writing for an audience — right-up-front.

Sure you’ll go on your own private journey while you pen your story. The climbing of the icy mountain, the scuba diving off the coast of Ecuador, the rickshaw trip through the back roads of Cambodia, or Fantastica or wherever.

But while you journey and write, remember that it’s me you’re trying to engage. By “me” I mean us, we, your potential readers. Every word you write, phrase you turn, paragraph you ponder, must be done so imagining someone else reading it.

Not you reading it.

Someone, anyone, everyone else reading it. That has to be your constant, back of your mind Buddha, the little fellow who sits there and reminds you, “Hey, I don’t know what that ‘eponymous’ word means! Maybe there’s a simpler, clearer word…”

And it’s not just phasing or your lexicon that matters. It’s the big stuff. Like how fast is your story going? Do you really need all that extra description? Don’t you think that having him fail four times in a row is a bit much? Wouldn’t just twice be enough, with a clever word slipped into infer additional efforts?

Writing’s hard. Writing well is nearly impossible. But if you try it, remember, it’s not you you’re writing for. You’re expressing these wonderful visions so that WE can experience them.