Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving Up

Long ago, country music star Tanya Tucker, sang, "If it don't come easy, let it go." Of course, she was referring to a doomed love affair, but the advice holds true for writers. I've been struggling with a work in progress, trying desperately to get a foothold, but continually failing. So, I let it go. Another idea lay hidden in the folds of my cerebellum. I only found it the other day, resting somewhere between the thought that I might become a medical professional and the decision about who not to invite to dinner. I picked it up, dusted it off, and thought, "Ahhh, not so bad."

I started work and in less than thirty minutes, I had about a thousand words, good words. I didn't start the story too soon, one of my failings, I didn't lose interest around the five hundred word mark, and I didn't find myself struggling to get just the right images on the page. Like old Tanya said, it came easy so I didn't let it go.

The other work in progress has changed position. It's been relegated to the bottom of my document files and may or may not be resurrected. The new WIP is coming along nicely. The only problem I've had is deciding on chapter breaks. The story exits my fingertips with such rapidity that I have to go back and make those chapter divisions as a part of revision.

With the hindbrain firmly in charge, I'm desperately trying to stay out of my own way. Another of my problems. According to the betas, I stand squarely between my writing and any possibility of getting an agent. What does that mean, you ask?

That means that I make my own life difficult. I allow myself to filter in, telling the audience what's happening and not simply showing them. I over describe, my love of words obscuring the meanings of the words themselves. I use forty words to say what one well chosen term might say as well if not better. In other words, I try too hard. A newbie mistake, I know, but the first step in solving any problem is admitting it's there. The second step, STOP! Stop standing in the way of the story. Let the words breathe, something that's a lot harder to do than you might imagine.

One of my biggest problems is those darned creative writing courses I took in college. I've talked about their one genre focus before. I'm not saying don't take a writing course. I'm just suggesting that each writing course should be viewed from the perspective of 'will this work for me.' Not every professor is truly an expert, in that some don't have the publishing credits that a good creative writing teacher needs in order to help a future author toward the goal of seeing his/her book on the shelf.

Well, Hindbrain is calling. I must comply with its request that I return to the new WIP. Wish me luck. I'll need it. This new novel has a long way to go before it hits the beta trail.


. said...

Writing from the hindbrain is great. Getting out of your own way is great. Showing not telling is great. See? You're doing great. :-D

Now, keep on doing!


WKEverhart said...

Thank, Gini. Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks!