Starting Writing Vs Really Writing

I just wrote a snippet of what could be the start of a story, and of course it was very exciting cause I could picture the whole story in my head.. But do I really want to do all that is involved to turn it out into a full length story??
Cause writing a complete story is so much harder then starting one.
But a story you have to think about each character and what they are all doing and where it will be going.  When you start to write things flow.

Anyway, I might turn it into a story now that I have written it, in my spare time (cause lately I am focusing on the 3d art aspects more then the writing as of late.)  But I think there is always spare time somewhere in the day and maybe I can sneak in something from the bits and pieces of my already fractured up day..

Anyways, in short, writing a book, is not as easy as starting one.  But I think it is doubly rewarding to have something you can say you’ve done.  I love the feeling of finishing things, and that is my rush in my day, to say I have gotten something of value done.
I love to read my own words on the page, and know I wrote them, and like them.  So I think it is worth.  But it’s not easy.

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Getting Back to Writing

Well I am going to go back and start using the write practice again.  I am still writing my story.  Well second draft.. sort of.  It still feels like draft one because I am doing so much writing in it, there really is all writing at this point and no editing yet.  That’s because my original was set during a different time of my character’s life, and had become too long and draggy because of it.  Anyways because I have been going a little slow with it, I have decided to add to my practice a short daily write, which I will probably start posting here.

I am pretty sure my writing is not great at the time, but I need to ignore that for now and get back into the habit of writing every day.  So I will be posting something probably each day, probably very short.

Anyway about the book I am much happier with it, starting at a later point.  But it is also hard because there are Still some big questions I am going through.   I have found this basic outline on the web and I am going to use it to map all my scenes out and I think it will help me immensely:

  • three act structure.
  • nine checkpoints: a sentence per check point
  • break check point down to scenes.

I had been kind of going off memory from the original to write so far.  Outlining is one of those necessary evils I guess.  But part of me always is tempted to go without an outline.  I don’t know.

I think adding a picture to a blog is helpful… so I will have to think of a picture… oh hum.. how about..:

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(picture found on pinterest by Jane: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/462885667924407298/ )

On Locking the Door

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I would like to say no to everything. Close the door on everyone and lock myself in my den and never come out. I don’t know if it’d help. But sometimes I do want to. Wish I could. Instead I try to reserve some time everyday. I tell people it is my time. I have done what I was supposed to, and now everyone please excuse me, I am unavailable.
Unfortunately it is not as official as, Oh it’s 2 o clock, good bye everyone. More like, when everything is done I sneak off. If it’s not enough time, then I have not been efficient enough with everything else. If I am at the typing on the keyboard I still have to be ready to stop if something comes up. Something often does. It is the way of most people I think though. Time for working is carved out, and it is not always easy to do. So many people want our time.
Sometimes there is altogether too much stuff that seems to be going on in the world in general too. I often wish that somehow I could just turn it all off. And let the peace soak in. Then slowly meander my way through the hills and valleys of my own mind. Drenching it on the paper next. Like a calligraphy pen drinks up the ink and sops the paper with its ultra dark lines.
I can only make do though. Someday I may make those lines more clear for myself. Everyday that I get to participate in the art that I love I feel blessed. And I can’t imagine not doing it. If I miss a day, I feel at a loss somehow. That the day had gotten squandered.

(c) National Trust, Calke Abbey; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Breathe Life with your Words

Been happily plugging away. Though sometimes I don’t know if anything is coming together or not. I mean I have a lot of writing, but is it turning into a full length story? I’m not sure.

Last couple days new doubts have been freshly coming up like the morning lawn. And I have been taking some pause as I try to answer them to myself. It is more then doubt though. I am trying to ferment inside of myself my character. Trying to make his appearance in my life realer, more vivid. And also understand the world he lives and also the conflict he breathes that I will somehow have to write. Is it enough conflict though? Talk conflict to me! What are the problems, how big are they and how impossible do they seem to solve? The worse off the better. That’s what everything I have read up to this point on conflict tells me and I am apt to believe. Except believing does not a conflict enhanced story make. And so if he doesn’t get the girl, then.. so what? Uh it’s a … bad day? A really bad day. Sigh.

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So what… Just like the frustrations of everyday life. No one is going to have a lot of sympathy for someone going through the same stuff everyone else has to go through. In writing, I have to find a way to make it bigger then real life. But how?

Maybe it means more fermenting, more bubbling it all over in my head, till things make sense. Till the answer just pops. I hope it will. I twist in my chair doubtfully, and hoping the next writing session will cure the looming questions that are plaguing.

No I know.. It is time to break out a day where I pick apart the plot. Being merciless and ravaging and all that fun stuff.

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How to Keep the Writing Magic Alive in Your WIP?

      Have you ever started writing and found you lost motivation a few weeks in?  When you started out you were so pumped, you’d close your eyes and could see that book completed?   And that thought motivated you to start, and in the beginning words poured out of you onto the paper, typewriter, keyboard?  But a few weeks down, you started to find other things to do rather then write?  And you’d say to yourself if only I had more time each day I’d finish. Meanwhile you spend more time reading twitter then novels and more time watching tv then writing?  Or have you doubted whether you were good enough to write in the first place?  I know this has been one of my long standing issues.

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      I’ve been there.  When I was younger I thought writing wouldn’t be too hard, and so I’d write for a bit and my story sounded intriguing enough, but I wouldn’t stick with it and I’d want to start writing something else before long.  Wait a minute I guess it isn’t that easy.  And then I figured I wasn’t meant to write and I stopped.  Why does a story seem to have a lot of potential and feel so easy, only to get harder as time goes on?  During my school years when I read a book or watched a movie, I thought plots seemed simple and that anyone could write without difficulty if they had the time.  Nearly everyone can crank a few story ideas out if they tried.  Not only that, but they could also write a beginning middle and end without much sweat.  Yet few people would call writing easy or have decided to make a goal to write something that they will complete.

     It’s a lot harder to sit down and write a story then simply to think about a story that someone could write about.  Many say that finishing a book is like running a marathon.  You know that when it’s done you have achieved something important, something not everyone could do.

      Starting to write in the whirlwind of inspiration is not too bad.  But the next stage of keeping it up get’s a bit more challenging.  That’s when a lot of would be writers probably leave the race.  I like to think of it as the 2-3 year mark in a marriage.  A friend of mine told me that 2-3 years into a marriage is the hardest, and if you could get through that then you can get through just about anything else.  Though there is also mid life crisis time that to comes to mind.   But I agree this is like the test of the marriage.  It is when the glamour has faded and the couple are not going to be able to sweet talk all the annoying ticks under the rug anymore.  This is the live or die phase.  And if these problems don’t get worked out, marriages often do that, die. I hate to say it, but there is still a high divorce rate.  This is exactly what someone who has huge ambitions towards finishing their dearly beloved story doesn’t want.  After the honey moon magic has played, that the problems in the book become huge and ultimately kill the book.

       What makes this problem so difficult is that problems in a book are often not easily solved and more easily ignored.  The parts of the book that are problems are the exact parts that people would most like to ignore.  Even if a book with a problem does get finished, people will notice that there is something wrong and the reviews will reflect the truth.  Readers have a sharp instinct when it comes to books that are good and ones that aren’t.  Unfortunately just a few issues can knock a good book to merely so-so.  Not only that but editors can be very expensive these days and people can often overlook their own problems.  

       So how do you solve these problems and finish the book when your inspiration starts to run dry? There is sadly no one hit wonder answer to solving this.  But there are a few things that can be done that can make writing go a little bit smoother through the rough patches.  One of the things I do is that I constantly remind myself what I love about my story and about my characters.  And I work on those areas to make them even better, sweeter.   It is easy to forget why you love your story when you are in the midst of a serious problem.  When all you want to do is stop writing.  That is why so many people say that when writing make sure you care about your story.  It will make your story much better and it will also help you stay through the tough spots.  

       A way to love your character is to get to know that character.  It takes a lot of time and writing to get to that point though.  Often the answer is that the more you write and specifically the more deeply you write in their perspective the more you will know them and also your readers will too.  And once you love your character you will do a lot more for them.  You’ll enjoy writing their scenes, and you’ll be sad when their hearts break.  Yesterday I had to free write to rediscover my character because I found out that he might be a little melancholy.  He might not though.   Which goes to show you can’t just write the character completely for yourself, because you may end up with a character that isn’t as appealing to an audience. 

      Last is the problem of pot holes in a story and how to get over them.  I know there are a lot of people who like to not organize a story ahead of time and just go, but I have found that I have often run into problems if I did not make some kind of outline early on.  And even after I have made my outline and thought out many of the scenes, that I still run into story line issues.  I notice them while working on the outline usually.  But it is probably the best place to notice them.  Because then I can make sweeping changes to the story without wasting time.  When I write the story the first time, I write short chapters of only about a page to three pages long.  Afterwards I can see if there are any problems, and fix it without having to change a lot of writing.  Then I go back and add a lot more detail to each chapter.  

        I can’t emphasize enough how helpful an outline can be.  And there can still be a lot of free writing to keep the story loose.  But even though some can write completely without an outline it takes a different kind of focus, and personally I think it is easier to start with an outline if you are unsure if you have that focus.  It is too tempting for the pantster to write too many starts of stories and never and complete something.  

      So finally as a playback, break out of routine now and then and do something in your writing that is purely enjoyment that reminds you how much you love your characters and need to tell their story, and work on the fun scenes you love to tell. If you don’t love your character or story or both the story is going to suffer.  And then after that It comes down to basics.  In a relationship, the beginning is great whether people do anything or not.  But if there are issues that have not been worked out, it will come through in the relationship eventually. There will be struggles, and so the answer is to solve the problems as soon as possible and not hide to hide from them.  Same with a story, if there are problems they will need to be worked on at some point.  Ignoring them is only a temporary solution. The little practical things will ultimately make you achieve your goals.  

      Rushing to finish a book but not taking care in how it is made will often lead to the disaster of a poorly made book.  But with a little care, a few rules set for oneself like writing daily, and figuring out who has the gun in such and such scene before starting the fight scene may save a lot of pain later.

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       I hope everyone the best in their writing pursuits.  We all have different goals, but we can work together and learn from each other.  What is one of the things you do to keep the writing magic alive for you on the day to day when writing your story?

 

Writing and the Dilemma of Making Art

I feel like I should write today. Like if I wrote I’d write something good. Maybe because I didn’t write yesterday and I’m not supposed to not write a day. A lot of times I feel I have nothing to say, nothing to offer to a page. There is this desolation inside that says, “Your life is meaningless. You are as empty as a raw hide bone.”

I wonder if art is about skill or transcendence. Is writing about the sequence of words, or a carefully choreographed rhythm, or making the perfect grammatical sentence?  No adverbs, and reduce the adjectives. Don’t talk down to the audience. Study the rules, take notes, go over writing, cross out mistakes. Write so it sounds like how you talk but it isn’t. It is crisper, truer then reality. Edit, read and edit again. And even the dingiest of works begin to gleam.

Or is what makes a good artist the experience of pain and being able to crystallize it and turn it into something amazing?  Walking on the beach of soul, with an understanding of the tides, a reflection to the goings on.

Can you learn by listening to other artist’s stories? Are great artists and writers today in libraries force feeding themselves huge quantities of literature as their brains grow big with character dialogue and setting pieces that they regurgitate and spit back onto their own pages?  Is writing a form of a mother bird feeding her flightless babies-who are hopping and chirping for nourishment? When I think about it, everything in this world is borrowed. At least according to the rules of energy.

And yet when I read something I occasionally get the feeling that here is something new. Where did that come from? There is this concept of the subconscious. The subconscious has been my play buddy on the theories of human thought for a long time. And artists are closer to the shadowy figure then most. As they take its arm, asking it to divulge its secrets and they must learn to open up to the mysteries a little at a time, taking peaks into the dark areas of closet, holding their chest tight in case something jump out at them.

And across the world artists are peaking into one huge closet and taking back the scraps that they sew together into a story that will hopefully sell books. But of all the artists in the world, only a small handful really come out and appeal to a huge group, as people hungrily slurp their writing as something that speaks of something larger. And we don’t need to know what that is, just enjoy the feeding frenzy. But what about all the other pebbles on the shore that don’t shine, but sit dully and are walked by. Are they meaningless? Or are they stepping stones on the way to something more?  Artists step on each other’s backs to get farther then before.

There’s a question I have asked and pondered over many days and with no obvious answer in sight. What is it that people want? Like looking at the tides, staring into the great nothingness and asking for the meaning of life. If the ocean could say anything it would faintly chuckle, when passerby’s asked that question in their vain attempts of trying to ‘figure it out.’

Some Personal Thoughts On Blogging

It is easy to go on and talk about nothing when you have nothing in particular to say.  I have done that a few times.  I want to get away from that though, because when one goes in with nothing to say they often find they haven’t said anything by the end.  I mean I guess the power of the subconscious may help out so that there will be a gem coming out.  I guess writing prompts are also very useful.  I like using writing prompts for my fiction writing to help me get along.  But there are also a lot of good prompts for people who just want to blog about other things.  Their life experiences, the things they’ve learned or even a commentary on the larger events that we are all in the midst of.

It is a dilemma when one goes through a bout of not knowing what to write about though between writing something that isn’t one’s best or not as useful to others.  But one can’t really decide not to write at all until inspiration hits either.

It seems like if someone doesn’t blog regularly they will disappear quickly from this blogosphere like it were never more then a mist that was never really there to begin with.  In a very real way one rarely is.  I don’t know about you, but it does not seem like an easy task to become truly established in such a transitioning world as the blog world.  I am frankly amazed that, considering how many people are out there blogging, that anyone has found my blog at all.  Though that is something that has always been a great pleasure to me, is that there are people who read blogs and even spend the time to make a comment.  That has made my day on many occasion.

But even so, it doesn’t change that if a person doesn’t blog then they will be forgotten about.  It is something that someone has to keep up with and put a lot of dedication in.

Though on the flip side of that, the nice thing to this is there really is an endless amount of interesting topics to write about and to share with others, so that if one tries I don’t think it would be that hard to come up with something meaningful on a regular basis.

It’s funny how everything always seems to boil down to fundamentals no matter where a person goes.  Whether going through college, trying to get ahead at a work place, or even blogging.  There are somethings which are better things to do and other things which are not the better things to do and everyone knows about this.  And usually if someone does what they know they should do, and not what they shouldn’t, there will be positive gained.