Saturday, 2 April 2016

I'm Gonna Sit, Write Down and 'Right' Myself a Letter... or Two

Only when one starts to *try* to write their own creative works does one realize how difficult can be. And when I say one I mean me. I'm currently in the beginning stages of a young adult targeted piece which in its fledgling stage has varying (wildly varying) degrees of success. I've heard from numerous people including a local author(!) that a common misconception about writing is that it happens when the spirit of creativity hits. You have to be IN THE ZONE. This, apparently is not true and its justification makes sense - just like any other skill, you need sheer practice. Of course natural talent and knack doesn't hurt but that alone is not enough. After all, if you are a very fast sprinter, you know that doing no training just isn't going to cut it. With that, I reveal my biggest challenges and roadblocks that I am determined to overcome!

1. The Story line
This seems like a no brainer but it can be seriously difficult thinking of an original story line that you yourself as the author won't get bored with! And with that, what sort of book will it be? A novella, novel or short story? By the way the difference between a novella and a short story. The answer is apparently that 'a novella is a “short book.” As such, a novella is considerably longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. A novella must be able to stand on its own as a book' at least according to this website anyway. 


2. Stamina
Second to the story line but yet another S starting word is stamina. I often tell myself that I'm going to do it, write the great American Novel! And then I remember that I'm not American nor is it likely that I'll remember the plot line two weeks from now to finish the story. In this modern world full of distractions it can hard to keep focused on one thing. And imagine when you read a book and there's some dead boring sections in it - now imagine if you had to write those dead boring sections. It's actually really impressive when people can finish books at all! It's such a long process I feel that vacillates between creative to total objectivity and deadlines. In order to combat this I am trying two methods. The first, actually having a plan for once and bulking up my characters! The second is to write the scenes that jump out at me first and then fill in the gaps later. I know it seems a bit weird because you'd think it'd get disjointed but this is supposed to appease the part of me that can't stand to sit through boringness and mundanity (neither of which may be real words). Surely I'm not alone in this struggle! But what I've found helps me to practice is by writing a blog because you force yourself to do it. That's right (and write) people, force yourselves! Before long you'd have written a massive as blog post that you're not sure everyone will read to the end! But please do..

3. Remaining in the same tense
Again, this is not as easy as it sounds people! I have the tendency to mix them up in a way that does not flow or make logical sense I fear. When you read it's easy to see how it all rolls along but when you write it yourself (myself) I always have to do a quick check to ensure I'm not suddenly splitting off into the subjunctive. I don't even know what that is in English - I mean I probably am familiar with it but just can't define it - although I know it in French (?) which is incidentally a mood not a tense. Go figure. 

I've also been describing my plot and characters to a friend as if they're real people. It's great. Although are you supposed to tell people? Meh, who cares it's your own story.Also thank you internet for all the pictures.

So there we have it. I sincerely congratulate anyone who has ever finished writing a book/been published or set their minds to making a contribution to the literary world. It's kind of hard! 

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