Wednesday, May 30, 2007

banging rocks together

I’m having a large dramasode with the end of my first chapter. I’ve been more and more unhappy with the way things are going. Or, rather, I know where the story is supposed to go, I just can’t get it there. Every time I sit down to write, I’m overwhelmed with angry apathy. I feel like I can’t do it, that I’d rather be doing anything else, that I’m failing my great dream. And always, there’s the clock. I’m not writing enough words per hour, I’m not writing enough words per day, OMG I’M NEVER GOING TO FINISH.

As I said, major deeeeerama.

But this morning, after a lot of flopping around in bed and being unhappy, angry driving while being unhappy, and desperate unhappy internet searching, I began to figure it out.

It’s no secret that I suck at grammar. I can’t explain why a sentence is the way it is, or why a phrase is incorrect, but I’ve read well enough and extensively enough that I can feel my way along 95% of the time. The trouble is, I’ve extended this to the actual writing part of writing. I don’t know why things happen, or why characters make decisions, I just know that it feels like they should. Every scene I write is like banging rocks together in the dark and hoping for a spark to see by, yet not knowing WHY the fire sparks the way it does.

Sticking to the outline and muddling through isn’t good enough anymore.

I have to get inside each scene. I have to know why it has to be written that way, and what I’m going to get out of it. I have to remember that my characters AREN’T ME, I can’t look at their situations and then have them do what I would do. Who’s the POV for the scene? Who’s head am I in? Why should I do it this way?

This means I have to know my world, my story, my plot, and my characters better than I know them now. I have to be able to ask a character WHY they acted as they did, and expect a response. I laid the ground work, created the world, but now I have to let the people who live in it tell me the story of what happens. I can’t worry about “will it sell” or “who will like it.” I have to write for the story, and edit for the reader.

It’s time for writing to be fun again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really liked this phrase: "I have to write for the story, and edit for the reader."

Your blog is awesome!

Thanks a lot for sharing all this. Thanyou, Rachel! :)