Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Writing Update for December

One of the tools I like to use is a chronological chart of happenings, paralleling each character's thread. I'm looking at the chart for Trefury: The Secrets of Callorin and I'm near the end. It's a good feeling. Five months ago I felt I'd never get to this point. I've faithfully kept a writing journal as I've plodded through my current rewrite and the dismay of an empty 3-ring binder and a brand new notebook has given way to a sense of satisfaction as they both have filled up. In fact, I may need a second notebook before I'm through. My scene profile files on my computer are grouped based on plot threads and it's handy to be able to read through them and make sure that information and action are where they need to be.

Basically, a daunting, humongous task has become less Herculean due to persistence and hard work. I don't have the luxury of having several hours a day to devote to writing. I snatch an hour or two where I can, sometimes only half an hour. The little bits add up and I'm glad that I documented them as they compiled.

Writing is so solitary an endeavor and I often find myself tucked away from the rest of the writing world as I'm in the middle of creation or revision. I poke my head out once in awhile and make sure I keep active on my writing forum because writing contacts and friends are important too. What I think I enjoy most is the self-discovery part of writing, the omniscient feeling. And the realization that how I picture my worlds and characters will never translate perfectly through words doesn't disturb me as much any more. As writers, we create alone, then give away what we write to the imaginations of those who read. Wouldn't it be scary and cool if there was a way to perfectly translate the story we see in our heads? Kind of like plugging up everyone else to the movie in our heads, including the strength of our emotions and how we feel about what is going on. I'm sure someone will create a movie about that concept someday.

It's interesting to reflect and chart your own growth as a writer, too. The absorption of technique, critiques, brainstorming, and improved skills is exciting to see. I don't think that makes each story we write any easier, unless we are following a set formula, but we're not the clumsy beginning artists we once were. There's a little more confidence, fewer paths down tangent roads that eat up time and make us feel like novice idiots. We've learned rules and when to break them. We've learned that there are very few hard rules in fact and that we can move creatively forward without incurring the wrath of people we once thought of as experts on pedestals. We've learned the difference between indulgent writing for ourselves and the slavery of writing to everyone else's expectations, and hopefully chosen a place in between.

We present our work to the world, have our PR time, then go back into the cave of solitude to create another story. And that's where I am. I've had my break from writing, gagged the internal editor, and am blissfully reworking a story I feel passionate about.

I'm having surgery today and I'm excited about it. I look forward to finishing this year and starting the next spending my recuperation time finishing up this draft before doing my final rewrite (the one before I solicit beta readers to help me iron out the bugs). I hope those of you who write or work in other creative endeavors have a great New Year and if you take anything from this obscure blogpost from this obscure writer, I want it to be hope that even if your circumstances are not ideal as to time and means to pursue your creativity, that you know even the small moments add up. Don't give up or give in to frustration because it isn't happening the way you want or in the time you want it to. Do give your best and work hard. Push yourself; it's so worth it.

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