gluedwithgold: (Default)
Another easy one today.

Writing is my happy place!!!

After yesterday's autumn love-fest, I was talking to friends about how much we all love fall, and today was the FIRST DAY of fall, and there were google doodles and fall-themed Jared aesthetics, and the whole thing just gave me the fanfic feels. I just got this neeeeeeed to write beautiful boys cuddling under a big maple tree with bright orange leaves all around them and the sun filtering through and *swooooooons*

So, yeah - I've written about 2000 words of a mini-story, it'll probably wind up somewhere around 3-4k words (which is an odd length for me, I usually write one-scene ficlets that are about 1k, or full stories that are 10k on up - this one's totally different!). I'll hopefully finish that tomorrow, edit over the weekend, so there should be new fic posted from me soon! Woohoo!

But yeah, writing is so my happy place. I love the way my brain latches on to an image or a story premise, and doesn't let go until I've worked it out to a full-fledged idea. I love the a-ha moment when it all comes together in my head. I love starting to write, those first, tentative sentences flowing out onto the screen, then I pause and re-read, make a few adjustments to get the engine going then all of a sudden I'm off and the words are flowing, my fingers flying over the keyboard, and before I know it I've gotten a full page written with characters starting to come to life and the scene set and things are starting to happen.

When I write, I have this calm focus that I don't have any other time. My brain shuts down all the chatter - all that negative self-talk, all the worry and wondering what if, all the memories of things past that I can't do anything about but my brain latches onto anyway. When I'm writing, it's just me and the story. It's an escape, a way of transporting myself into another world for a while, but unlike reading or watching movies or television, when I come back from that escape I have something to show for it. I've created this world, these characters, this story - and hopefully it's good, hopefully it's something other people will want to read and get some enjoyment from. Because if I need to escape the world I live in for a little while, shouldn't I want to do that in a way that might benefit others? In a way that gives other people the same kind of escape that I need? Shouldn't there be something positive to come out of all the shit I have to deal with and fight all the time, something good from the way in which I deal with it? Yeah. I love writing. 
gluedwithgold: (Default)
So. The lovely [ profile] akintay posted a Friending Meme over on her journal (which I would link to, but I still don't know how {will someone please just wave a magic wand so I know how to use this site? Pretty please?} and I think most people who will see this already know her anyway so, yeah.) and it reminded me that I have this here blog/journal/place to spew forth all my thinky-thoughts.

Lately I've been inundated with new story ideas. It seems every time I turn around I'm grabbing my fiction journal and scribbling down thoughts on some new plot or character combination.
You see, here's my story. *settles everyone on pillows on the floor, passes out cookies and juice*
I studied creative writing in college - growing up I was always writing stories, foregoing recess to sit with a notebook, commandeering my parents' old electric typewriter (I'm old - we didn't have computers back then!) and eventually going on to study writing, despite parental protest. Being young and immature as I was, I didn't really take advantage of that education. I didn't put the work in. I wrote, sure - I participated in all the workshops, garnered some skill from being critiqued on a pretty consistent basis. But I didn't take the opportunity to really learn storytelling like I should have.

After I graduated and the real world struck, I gave up on writing. Now, 20 years later (yeah, that long - I said I'm old - shut up!) I've reignited my passion for writing in a major way, and with my new maturity I'm working toward learning all those things I should have learned when I was in school.

And it's paying off. My dialogue has improved immensely, my characterizations are getting stronger, my descriptions more vivid. I'm starting to work imagery and theme into my stories and my plots are becoming more complex.

When I first came back to writing, coming up with ideas was a struggle. I'd get a vague image of a story - a lot of times no more than a sentence or two. I would sit down to write, and let the story unfold as I worked. The characters would come to life, conflict would emerge, all in front of the keyboard as I struggled to put one word in front of the other.

Ideas are coming to me left and right now - and they're becoming much more intricate. My latest one filled two pages of my journal, and incorporates a lot of the history of the protagonist (which will come out within the story, of course). This one hit me two days ago, and I've been filling in details since. Just a few minutes ago I was sitting here pondering what my secondary protagonist's character flaw would be. And it hit me - THIS is how you build a story.

I've had many discussions with my friends ([ profile] dancing_adrift and [ profile] non_tiembo_mala) about plot and how to come up with what actually happens throughout the timeline of the story. We're all learning to improve our writing, and plot seems to be the one thing we keep coming back to, that we keep struggling with.

What's happening for me (and of course, everyone's process is different, this may sound assinine to someone else) is that I start with a situation, a premise. Into that situation I put characters. How those characters interact, react, change, grow - that's where the story unfolds. So, what I'm learning is that rather than needing a specific series of events - A happens, then B happens as a result, leading to C happening - what really fuels my storytelling is character. The more fleshed out, the more real my characters are, the easier it is to throw them into a situation and let the events unfold. The more intimately I know the characters, the more logical it becomes to see what they would do, how they would react. If one character's flaw is a fear of commitment, when he meets another character and falls in love, that is going to create conflict for that character.

So, basically - all those exercises I was supposed to do in college, creating character sketches and biographies? They were right. It's useful. It's important. It's integral to storytelling. If I could go back in time and talk to my 20-year-old self, I'd definitely smack her upside the head and tell her to pay attention. Who knows, maybe we'd be published by now!

Now...I just need to sit down and actually write all these stories....
gluedwithgold: (Default)
It was about a year ago that I started writing again after a twenty year hiatus (yes, I'm old enough that twenty years of my adult life can pass with significance - pipe down, you whippersnappers!). I started writing basically as soon as I learned to read, and never stopped all through high school and college (I majored in writing and literature - go figure). But once I graduated and the relative freedom of school was ripped from my hands as I wailed and moaned, begging and grasping for it with aching, bloodied fingers (I may be exaggerating a wee bit) and I had to engage in "real life" I let go of the passion and dove into the daily grind of making a living. Writing was always at least in the back of my mind, and throughout the years I made half-hearted attempts at renewing my passion, reinventing my determination and discipline. It never stuck, until now.

Now I'm focused and passionate, spending more time thinking about writing than anything else, and actually writing for at least a few hours most days. I seem to have hit a roadblock, however. I have so many ideas and so much desire - my favorite daydream right now is being able to quit my day job and write full time - that I've found myself stagnant.

I'm three quarters finished with a J2 RPF College AU, I have a solid idea for [ profile] spnhorrorbang that I can't wait to dive into, I have another exciting idea for another J2 RPF AU story (a fantasy genre story that's so far out of the realm of what I normally write that I'm chomping at the bit to explore it), a half-formed idea for an original story that I intend to write during this year's NaNoWriMo that I really want to flesh out so I'm more prepared for the month-long marathon in November, my fiction journal is slowly filling up with other ideas and it seems I have something newsmack me in the face with a resounding splat every day (ideas are gooey - they splate when they hit). On top of all these ideas, I have an uncontrollable desire to work on certain elements of my writing - exploring different points of view, experimenting with stream-of-consciousness narration, toying with theme and motif - to learn and grow as a writer (which, of course, can only be accomplished by writing - duh).

Sounds like a writer's dream, right? Except that I'm finding myself completely overwhelmed by all of this, and when I get overwhelmed I turn into a possum curled up in a tight ball in the middle of the road in the dead of night. I get overwhelmed and I just can't do anything. I sit down to write, and the thousand words that would have taken me an hour and a half struggles out over three hours because my mind won't settle in, it's constantly skittering from one thought and idea to the next without every pausing to work on the task at hand. And what I do manage to produce is dry and lacking the heart of what I push out when I'm really focused and writing with flow.

So what the fuck do I do now? Well, my best guess is - I write. I put my butt in the chair, my fingers on the keyboard and I struggle through forcing every constipated word I can get out onto the page. Maybe everything I write will be crap, and I'll have to edit the fuck out of it to make something even remotely readable out of it. But if I let this overwhelming stagnancy take hold, I'm in for another hiatus of whining and complaining that "I wish I could write because I miss it." Fuck that. Writers write, and whether I'm writing coma-inducing crap or amazing literature that will change the collective consciousness of the universe, I am a writer. 

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