Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Taming the Impatience Monster

I’m trying something new.
Usually I dive right into a new project and keep tapping away until the end. A finer example of a Pantser, you'll not find, my friends! In the Writing Superbowl, with the Pantsers vs. the Plotters, I am this guy for Team Pantser:

We're talking total commitment to the team. 

And in defense of my pantsery ways, maybe jumping right in is necessary to get going, but there comes a point when I want to push the story along faster than it’s ready to be pushed.

Because I’m impatient.

Impatience isn’t always a bad thing, except, of course, when it is. Except when the reason I want to write is so I can be done already because writing is sooooo haaaaard. I sympathize with myself, I really do, but impatience is the enemy of many things. Good, clear, fully-realized stories, for example.

An outline might have prevented this. *sigh*
I’m coming to see that impatience is a just another form of fear. Like, I want to put things down right away because I’m afraid that if I think about it too much first, I'll realize that something’s flawed. So I plow onward.Or I can't stand the idea of not meeting some daily writing goal. I want to see words on the page. Words on the page means I'm writing. I must keep writing even if I'm writing myself off the edge of a cliff! 

*administers slap to self*

No. No more of that hysterical, desperate, impatient writing.
I will change my ways.

Take that, Impatience Monster! I shall tame you yet, or failing that, I will put a tranquilizer dart* in your haunch so you can't get up off the floor for 8 to 12 hours.

*Gosh, I think this is my new favorite website. I only wish they had one specifically designed for stay-at-home moms.

Monday, September 17, 2012

There Are No Magical Shoehorns

You know which fairy tale character I empathized with this week?

Remember Drizella? She’s one of Cinderella’s horrible, horsey-faced step-sisters.

When the prince shows up, looking for his beloved, she tries to cram her foot into that glass slipper, because she, like everyone else, desperately wants the Prince to love her, and she thinks this is the only way she can do it. To gain his approval, she needs to be The One Who Fits In.

But she can’t because she’s all, you know, ugly and stuff. And has huge, size 13 dogs like Missy Frankin.

Ahhh, yes, that's much more comfortable.
Poor Drizella.

I know we’re supposed to loathe her because she’s a big meany but somehow I can’t. 

Well, at the very least, I can't blame her. 

Who hasn’t had a moment like this, when you’re trying to stuff your wrong-sized foot into a delicate slipper because you think there’s no other way to find love and approval?

Yeah. I’m not going to do that anymore.

You gotta let your writing be what it wants to be.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Unconventions in Your Writing

No one, and I mean no one, is as disappointed as I am that we still have yet to reach the age of the hovercraft. 

As a kid I fully expected that by the time I was an adult, I’d be regularly driving a hovercraft or, at the very least, using a jet pack to get to work.

I blame you, George Lucas, for giving us false hope.
Yet here it is, 2012, and still no stinking hovercraft.

There is something about the idea of hovercraft that we love. I guess it’s the closest thing we can  imagine to unfettered flying. It’s the magic carpet of the modern age, and just about every science fiction novel or movie features them. And it's for that reason that I, as a writer of science fiction or sci-fi or SF or whatever the cool kids want to call it, tend to avoid them.

Yes, my brothers and sisters, hear these words that I’m speaking from my little bloggy pulpit: there will be no hovercraft in my SF novels.

I’m not saying that having hovercraft in your novel is necessarily wrong, and believe me, if and when hovercraft go into mainstream production, I'll be the first in line to buy one of the dang things. I don't care if I’m 94 years old. But let's be honest, they’ve become a bit of a cliché, and that’s why I don't want to use them in any of my stories. That and my extreme bitterness about still not having one.

Is there anything you avoid in your writing for similar reason? Some convention of your particular genre that you shun just because it’s become ubiquitous?

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