Thursday, April 7, 2011

I wrote today

And yesterday. And the day before. When I look back on it -- a few pages of dense black scribble -- it seems like such a small thing. But anyone who has faced the dead nothingness of a blank page knows how hard that is.

The thing that finally kicked me into gear was the realization that I try too hard in rough drafts. That is: I start out writing with the finished goal in mind, and when my draft is NOT that finished version, I despair. Stupid! Like most mistakes, this is crystal clear when I stop and think about it.

In fact what we should compare those exploratory drafts to is not the finished masterpiece ... but the blank page.

When I look at it that way, these first fumbling pages are a huge step.

Something else that's surprised me: in just a few days of writing (but, I'll grant, years of thinking) I have started to care about these characters. I can see the street they're standing on; I can taste the air.

This was not the case when I started, but I pushed on anyway -- not out of any defiant belief that that spark would appear, but because I couldn't figure out what else to do.

When in doubt, sit your ass down and work.

And suddenly the characters are coming to life. It's almost as if I'm not creating them, but uncovering them. Discovering them.


Babs said...

More. More. We want more writing! So Let's see it.

S R Wood said...

I don't like putting works in progress on the blog -- they're too fresh and raw. Which is actually a pretty good description of what I'm working on: a story with (I hope) raw emotions and hard choices.