Tuesday, February 14, 2012

More of what it's like

I'm at a weird place in my writing life. I have time. I can string together a decent sentence. My ideas aren't entirely crap. I'm just having a helluva time putting all the parts together, in a way that will move my writing to the next level.

I've never been a patient person, and if I'm not immediately good at something I usually lose interest. So it's been interesting to try and observe my progress from the outside. It takes a lot more than some indefinable sprinkling of talent to write a complete story. There are so many moving pieces, and I can manipulate some of those without thinking too much -- but that means when a story goes wrong, I can't lift up the hood and poke around. I can't fix what's broken because I don't know why it isn't working.

I need to understand as much as I can about why certain story elements work the way they do. I need to experiment. I need to read. I need to write a lot. And I need to think deeply about how the limbs make the monster.

To sum up, I'm going through a frustrating period, where I can tell I'm on the verge of understanding something important, but every time I try to grab and hold it, the idea fizzles. None of this is to say I'm giving up. I'm proud of what I've created and each story gets better and better-- or failing 'better', at least more ambitious. :)

I just thought I'd record what it's like for me, a year or so after I've started focusing on these questions full-time.


Milo James Fowler said...

"Never give up. Never surrender!" - Galaxy Quest.

Experimenting, reading, writing, and thinking -- you're on the right track to riding out this storm of frustration. Focus mostly on the writing itself: write as much as you possibly can, even if you hate it all. Don't throw anything way. You don't have to look at it again anytime soon, but keep it, no matter how awful it is. You never know when a good story idea will reveal itself. Most of all, be patient with yourself, and allow yourself the freedom to succeed and fail and become a better writer because of this refining fire.

Folly Blaine said...

Thank you, Milo. That's great advice. Today I plan to force my butt to stay planted in the chair and see what happens. I've been letting myself be too twitchy during writing time.

Thanks also for reminding me I need to watch Galaxy Quest again.