I’ve been musing on the process of writing, or rather, the process of constructing a story. I consider myself to be a fairly disciplined writer, with the following caveats—I haven’t written my novel, and I have abandoned some themed short stories. I’m aware of my limits. But I do write, and I do finish stories, and I do edit and submit stories. I have, in the past, sat and forced the words out. JUST WRITE. It’s good advice, but I’m finding that for me it doesn’t necessarily help me write The Story.
What? Well, I get words on the screen, for sure. I get a start, a middle, and an end. But if I sit and force myself to write when The Story is unwilling and vague and half-formed, I get A Story that kinda sucks. It doesn’t really have a point, and I’m left with my beta readers deconstructing it to try to get to the essence of The Story. It’s confused and confusing.
It can be quite threatening, having a half-finished story and no real clue as to the ending. This is where *I* need to step away and start daydreaming. Instead of sitting and inducing my brain (that’s a birth reference, if you didn’t get it) and causing all sorts of artificial problems, I need to let my brain do its thing.
And once I’ve daydreamed enough I can sit down and let the words come.
I have a decent story idea I’m working on, but thanks to wanting to churn it out quickly and forcing The Story, I got A Story within A Story and a confused reference to a fairytale. I’m working on improving it now (after a huge rewrite) with assistance, but I can’t help but feel if I’d let the Story compost a bit, if I’d dwelt within the diegesis and lived in my character’s shoes, instead of Just Writing when the words didn’t want to come, I’d be closer to having a satisfying story.
I still think Just Write is good advice. But I’m going to make sure I don’t force it. I’ll let my creative brain do its thing, and then I’ll write.