Friday, May 02, 2014

Friday Forays in Fiction: Personal Breakthrough and Insights

Last Friday I reviewed Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton.  I reviewed it before I'd quite finished it and then finished it during the read-a-thon the next morning.  From Friday afternoon on tho, I was champing at the bit to get back to work on my Camp NaNo project, the structural rewrite of my story Blow Me a Candy Kiss.  Only something as important as Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon could have held me back.

Go read the review to see why reading Hooked had goosed my motivation to over-the-top eagerness.  Today I am sharing about the experience of the major breakthrough several hours into an intense session with Candy Kiss and the three insights I had about myself as a writer.

The breakthrough relates to the story itself.  After I'd been completely engaged with the manuscript and notes digital and hardcopy, keyboard/screen and pencil/paper for some time, I felt something huge shift and suddenly I was holding the story entire in my mind.  It wasn't a storyboard or a timeline, a story arc or plot chart.  It was 3D, spherical and multifaceted like a jewel or a geodesic sphere.

The three insights relate to me as a writer and followed on fairly quickly after the story-sphere:

  • I am loving the process of the structural rewrite stage exponentially more than the first rough draft.  It's a jigsaw puzzle, a tinker-toy set, a fiber art tapestry, a solitaire game and a sorting, organizing and rearranging activity.  Some of my favorite things.
  • I am no longer dismayed at the thought of my dozens of fiction WIP--not even the Wrimo messes that have made me so anxious I seldom open the file again after the Wrimo month ends.
  • I am a literary short story writer rather than a novelist.  Even though many of my WIP exceed 10K and a few approach 20K they are more like short stories in their structure than novels as they have a very condensed and highly focused feel to them.  Also every one of my WIP that I've labeled a novel is really a collection of short stories with the same protagonist as every chapter finished, begun or intended has its own story worthy problem while most of the 'novels' they belong to do not but instead have a theme. Tho that could change now that I consciously understand the surface problems vs. the story worthy problem.
I'm going to leave it at that for now tho in future posts I may expand on these insights and include some history of my writing habits that show the clues have been there all along.  That history goes back to when cut and paste was with scissors and glue.

2 tell me a story:

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