Just sit and write… or not.

Photo by Frozn Light on Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.

Photo by Frozn Light on Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.

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.

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