Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Forays in Fiction: Clarity

The other day I found a link to this video in my email in a newsletter I subscribe to and in it I encountered this statement:  Clarity doesn't come from thought but from engagement.  In a restatement 'engagement' was replaced with 'action'. I may have paraphrased a tad but the meaning is intact.

Much of this post is from the comment I left on this post:

I’ve encounter this principle at least 4 times just in the past week! Once while putting the finishing touches on a crocheted diaper bag that had sat since June when the crocheting was done because I couldn’t perfectly see how to do what I was visualizing as the finished bag. The baby’s first birthday coming up this week forced me to reengage with it last week or face the demoralizing failure of not finishing a gift intended for a baby shower in time for the baby’s first birthday.

Once it happened when I opened my netbook in a public place just to jot some notes in a story file and ended up writing actual rough draft fiction for half an hour something I thought I was constitutionally incapable of doing both because of the sensory distractions and the feeling of being observed.

But beyond even that, even in my preferred environment for writing, those same words would not have made it to the screen if I’d waited (as is my usual habit) until I knew generally what I wanted them to be. They came as a surprise out of the engagement with the writing implement and I’m sure I can credit those new habits established for the ROW80 challenge recently because two of them involve just that–engagement with the writing implements (netbook, pen/paper) as creative writing implements at the beginning of each day before I allow myself to use them in other ways (Internet, games, video, ebook, photo/graphic manipulation, task lists, ….)

One of the things keeping my Fruits of the Spirit story world stories stalled out has been my attempts to map out the entire 120 years and the 7 generations of family trees before I write too far into any one character's story arc so I don't write myself into corners I can't get out of--someone marrying someone who isn't born yet; someone on scene in one story but out of town that same week in another story etc.  Also there is the religious cult that acts as primary antagonist throughout the series which I've yet to define to my satisfaction.  Now I'm wondering if maybe I’m trying to see specifics that aren’t visible until I'm in the thick of it.

Do I need to just write the stories without worrying about these things and fix any problems that crop up in future drafts?.   But what if I publish a story and then months or years later while writing a different one in the same world discover that something I've established in the earlier story precludes something the new story needs in order to work?  Can I edit the first story or must I let the new story die before it is born?

How much planning ahead is enough?  How much is too much?

Knowing myself I believe I lean toward too much.

It is spooky how this keeps getting reemphasized. I guess I’m supposed to take note?

0 tell me a story:

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