Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Precious!

Writing can be a solitary pursuit.  Think about the hours, days, weeks, months we spend hunched before our laptops like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. It's even worse at the beginning of a wip. We cover our screens like someone is trying to cheat on a test paper. Heck, when non-writer peeps (a.k.a the family) ask me what my new wip is about I go very vague. Kind of like this: 



Is it because I don't want to tell them? Nope. They are nothing but supportive of my hermit tendency to lock myself away with my fictional friends. Heck, they need a medal to put up with me going mute as I write that first draft.

It doesn't mean I don't love them. It doesn't mean I'm not dying to share my latest crazy brain activities with them. I allow myself to be a bit of a selfish shellfish. I write that first draft for me.

ME! ME! ME!

We've all heard thousands of times to write the story you want to read. I'm here to tell you it's true.

If YOU don't want to read about your character, love them or want to torture them into submission with a plot twist of evil (yeah, I'm that kind of writer) then who else will care?

Sure it won't be perfect. They'll be loads you can improve on and change.

I love getting feedback that kicks my butt into gear. That makes me focus on the bits I've edged away from. But, until that moment arrives, I give you permission to be selfish. Make the mistakes you need to grow as a storyteller. Be indulgent. Throw in a dinosaur who eats the villain (you'll delete it before your CP's see...Okay, maybe don't add a dinosaur if your story isn't set then. hee hee). Hug your first draft close while you can. Like a small child it will change and grow. It won't want you to hug it forever. *sniff* It will become a grumpy second/third draft teenager (and make you hack it to editing pieces), but the love will still be there. Why? Because it was a labour of love in the beginning.

Then your job is to help it grow and make others love it.

5 comments:

  1. ....now i kinda want to add a dinosaur.

    and you're right on both accounts. if we can't enjoy and fall in love with our characters, laugh and cry with them, be scared with them, then how will anyone else? we have to connect with them before we can hope anyone else will share their experiences and connect with them, too.

    and it's also nice to have supportive people who don't mind our hermit-ness. it's a necessity as a creative type, but sometimes it can be a little...um, isolating?

    (and i love torturing my characters too *evil grin*)

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  2. A very interesting post. I was already thinking about Katrina's post from yesterday (http://katrinalantznovelist.blogspot.com/2010/11/use-your-failures.html) about unpublished books. My characters are so real to me -- the ones in my current WIP, and the ones in unpublished works. At one point, the writing is just for the writer, but at another you want those characters and stories to live for someone else. It's like they're trapped until then.

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  3. Okay, alright already! I'll stop editing my Nano WIP! Gosh, Lindsay. It's like you can see into my heart sometimes.

    Hee hee. Thanks for this great post. You are right, of course. *humongous sigh* Time to get back to that WIP and focus back in on the characters.

    Kelly, thank you for the link love! Made me warm and tingly!

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  4. It was tough for me to let go of writing a perfect first draft. Once I learned that it can be really crappy, I was fine. And I do write books that I'd want to read, which makes me realize why there are so many different genres. Books I want to read are definitely not books other people want to read!

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  5. ah yes, I love that first draft stage where it is alllll mine :D Before I have to worry about any eyes but mine seeing it. *sigh* I <3 my wips :D

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