Monday, June 10, 2013

The Other Things

 The thing all writers do best is find ways to avoid writing.
Alan Dean Foster
Obviously if your a writer, writing is very important to you. You probably do a it all the time (or so people think). You may think about even when your not writing (at least). Some writers, pick up a pen or sit at the keyboard and just go.
Then there's the writers like me. We kind of. . .procrastinate. We can always find something else to do. Even though we really do like writing, it's not until we are in the moment of actually writing that we can say we enjoy it. It's just getting to that point.
But at the same time. Story is about life. Because life is a story. You live it everyday. So all those 'other things' you do. Work. School. Hobbies. Family and friends. Driving down the road. Eating dessert. Staring out the window. Think of them as research. It's real life.

For instance I work, attend college, clog, practice guitar, watch movies and play games with my family, read, draw, walk in the woods, normal life stuff. Research. Some of my characters may do similar things. And even if they don't do the same activities, they may encounter similar situations and people that I have.
Not that you, huh, I should do so much research that I neglect the writing part. *cough* It fits into life too. Besides if you're stumped on your writing, it's good to get your mind off it for a little. It helps.
Creativity is the residue of time wasted.
Albert Einstein
But what in my research and, uh, wasted time has inspired my writing? The best way to find inspiration is to not look for it. Here's some times when inspiration came:

hanging up the clothes
watching superhero movies
listening to the radio
listening to a friend talk about their experiences
sitting in English class
reading history
reading other fiction books
talking with siblings (especially brothers, they always think up the wildest things)
looking at various art
looking out the window
walking in the woods
staring at the sky
feeling the wind
climbing trees
playing guitar

How about you? What 'other things' do you do? Where has inspiration found you?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Roughing it through the First Draft

Writing is easy; all you have to do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood from on your forehead.Gene Fowler


          Rough drafts. First drafts. Daft drafts. It doesn't really matter what you call them. They're all the same.

           And I despise them all. All of mine at least. They are the worst things to ever come across paper, or the screen. Really.  I know I can do better than that. That the words can be so much more expressive. I'd rather edit. I love to take my ugly mess and turn it into something wonderful and captivating.

A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.Thomas Mann

           I used to edit my scenes before I moved onto the next ones. Which may be one reason why I haven't finished a whole book yet. Editing in the middle of your first draft slows progress. Also I may have spent a whole day on a scene or character that I may end up taking out of the book! What a waste of time.

Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you'll never share it with anyone.Emma Coats

           Then I used to avoid writing (of course I still do). But then I have nothing to edit either, nothing to work with, no story at all. That doesn't help much. So I have to force myself to writing. I have to give myself the okay to write terribly. Because there's no getting around it. (forgive this next image) Writing the first draft is like throwing up on the page, all the ideas, all at the same time, sometimes with no particular order, and all written very badly. Everything is all mixed together.

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.Louis L'Amour

         Once I wrote a short story. But I had two ways of getting to the ending. Since I wasn't sure which way to choose, I wrote both ways in the same draft. I'm not sure I would recommend that. But I always have to remind myself:

It's perfectly okay to write garbage- as long as you edit brilliantly.C. J. Cherryh

           What about you? Do you prefer first drafts or editing? What do you like and dislike about either of them?

All photos are from