Write Until You Find the Beginning

Photo provided by Krista Johanson and Stock.xchng

Photo provided by Krista Johanson and Stock.xchng

You might think I’m crazy, but I’ve taken on additional writing projects. I know. My novel needs a third draft and I’m working on it. A few additional scenes have entered my mind that will help flesh out the characters and the story. I’m also aware that I need to continue my ‘Fool’ short stories. I have copious notes and have began writing. Since winning the Poet Laureate award, I’m even more committed to developing my poetry skills and I have two additional novels in planning stages. So, why would I take on another project when I have so many others going?

Well, at the OCW conference I had a discussion with a few other writers about our styles. I tend to go dark. Even when I try to write something light and humorous a dark edge creeps into the work. So, I’m challenging myself. I want to write some light-hearted short stories in an effort to develop my skills.

With that in mind, I scoured writing prompts and did a little brainstorming. Nothing grabbed me. Then it hit me, I have a treasure trove of humorous anecdotes from my past that I can fictionalize. The events are universal. I can create characters and settings around them. The truth in fiction, so to speak.

It isn’t as easy as it sounds though. I devoted a bit of time to one such event, but I’m having trouble getting the beginning right. I’ve started with character. I’ve started with setting. Nothing seems right. The only thing I can think of to make it work is to just write until I find the beginning. Kind of like a nature walk. You amble along until you find that flower or tree that really grabs you, fires your imagination. (I particularly like trees with ‘character’)

That means a lot of crap will hit the page before I find the treasure. I’ll pass through nondescript areas and gaze upon flora and fauna that are familiar, maybe even comfortable. When I stumble upon that rare Plumeria Golden Unicorn it will be a beautiful sentence. Perfection. You’d think this process would be frustrating, but for some reason I’m really enjoying it. So far.

Now, I need to schedule myself. I don’t want my writing to suffer because I’m stretched thin. In order to make sure the quality of my work is the best it can be, I need to focus. With so many projects going on that means creating a routine. I’m open to structure if it will allow my creativity to flow.

It also helps that I’ve found a writing group. I think. My schedule hasn’t jived with theirs as of yet, but I’m committed to making it work.

I find myself on a frightening and exhilarating journey. One in which I’ll occasionally flounder. It’s comforting to know I can always write until I find the beginning.

  • mooderino

    It’s a lot easier when ideas pop into your head in the right order, but I mostly have to write a lot of stuff I end up throwing out before I find the beginning. All part of the process, i guess.

    mood

  • mooderino

    It’s a lot easier when ideas pop into your head in the right order, but I mostly have to write a lot of stuff I end up throwing out before I find the beginning. All part of the process, i guess.

    mood