Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Open It Up To Find the Tick, Tick, Tick of a Heart

So here we are again. I still haven't finished that Camp NaNo story. I only have about 400 words left to go. I've just been busy being an adult. (Don't do it, it's lame.) The story's just gotten so far off track that I'm not sure how to get it to go where it needs to go. I've tried to divert it back, and now it's at a point where I have to decide the fate of my protagonist. Does he get to survive? Maybe.

As usual, I've started thinking about my next project before I get finished with the current one. See, the great thing about the blog is that I have to keep writing and working on stories so I have something to talk about. The terrible thing about the blog is that I have to keep writing and working on stories so I have something to talk about. I don't have a lot of time to stop and think and outline something. I have to just dive in so I have something to show for myself twice a week. Ordinarily, my process relied heavily on "ruminating on things for months" but that's not very interesting.

So the question is, what's next? Do I try to chronicle the tedium of outlining a story? Share my exercises in world-building? Explain every decision in my character profiles. That's really up to you, I guess. This is all for you, I think. And maybe a little for me. It keeps me from slacking off to much.

But then, does a story lose something of its magic when every moment of its conception has been cataloged? Once I explain everything about how a story came to be, is there anything left to tell in the story? I mean, what's the point of a story if you already know everything about it. What's the point of Murder on Ruby Rock when you already know how it ends? Technically, I'm not even sure how it ends yet, but you get the point. Am I giving away too much before the fact? Does it not matter because these are shoddy first drafts that are never going to get published? Are they not "real" stories so it won't matter if I spoil the endings?

Sometimes I feel like I should be giving actually useful information, instead of just going on about whatever I'm working on. But then I remember that I am by no means an expert, and have no real idea what I'm talking about. Not to mention there's a million writing blogs out there by people who do know what they're doing. Like, they have books published and everything. What do I know?

Well, I know what project I'm working on, at any given moment, so that's what I talk about. Picking apart the strands of creation before they can even be woven into something beautiful. Giving away the endings to stories you've never read.

And you know what? In the back of my mind, I always have this notion that someone out there is eagerly awaiting each post. Someone wants to know exactly what happens next in my journey to write something worth reading. I don't know if that person actually exists, but I think that's the person I keep writing this for. That's who I keep writing period for. Someone out there, excited for the book I'll finish one day. I just hope I can write a book good enough, and I won't give away the ending in a blog post.

I guess that's it for today. Let me know what kind of things you'd like to see, and whether you think I give away too much.

I'll see you Friday.

Title Source: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: Commentary! The Musical - Heart (Broken)


  1. Not to be all "I look forward to every post!" but... I do. I completely believe you have what it takes and I am totally invested now.
    The thing about reading published author's blogs (which I do regularly) is that they are at the top of the mountain looking down. They'll state that it was difficult, but there's this detachment from the struggle. It's been far more inspiring to read about you being in the middle of the trenches, figuring this out for yourself as you go along, than the tales of struggle tinted with the glow of success.
    Reading about what's working for you, what's not, and what you've yet to figure out - that's real, that's inspiring, and it's usually quite witty.
    I'm excited to see what's next and how you do - and I'm probably annoying - but I'm a fan. You have fans! (That's gotta feel cool!) Put out a book and you'll have even more annoying fans!

    Write it, and they will come.

    1. Thank you! That's exactly what I needed to hear. And it IS super cool to have fans!

  2. Yes! I agree with Chester!

    I like to have a basic outline and know where my story might go. I don't mind revising the outline if the characters start to stray, but the outline helps me guide them a little. Plus, when you do that, you can write whatever scene is speaking to you. You can skip around a little bit. And when you are at a loss for "what happens next", it gives you a little nudge. I don't think it has to be extremely detailed. Just a guide. It helps me put characters in the scenes they need to be in and form their relationships a little bit as well.

    But you do you. Do what works for you. Maybe try something new so you know, but you have such a good sense of self and who your characters are that I think it usually shakes out.