The Healer and the Pirate

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Musing about Fiction - HOW

Wow, my random Musing about Fiction series is just about over!

A few thoughts about How to write. On the one hand, it's not my business how you write. Though for that matter, it's not my business what you write either, is it? Even if you write one of the worst books ever, it's a free country so I guess you can. And if you're famous or fortunate, you might even make money!

How do you write? There are at least two different kinds of writers. Some writers plan a strict outline before they start. Others are often called "seat of the pants" writers, who seem to thrive from the adventure of discovering a story. A lot of people are somewhere in the middle, doing a little planning but a lot of wandering along the way. For myself, I've tried outlining but it doesn't seem to work. But when I just make up stuff as I go along, it takes a prodigious amount of editing. Like every NaNoWriMo I've ever done. (See About Me and my Writing!) It can be hard to put a story together. How do I make it come together? Honestly? I don't know!

You know what's almost certainly more important than how you write? It's THAT you write. Most people don't even finish the stories they start. People spend all their time planning, or editing, or...ah...playing on the Internet...::shifty eyes:: You can't spell writer without write!

As to how to make yourself write? That's tricky. I've gotta say, just shut up and do it. That's what NaNoWriMo, and deadlines, are all about. Yes, I kind of love deadlines, because they force you to work. It's really hard for a lot of people (certainly myself!) to stay self-motivated.

Writers often say their muse is gone, they've got writer's block, etc. I'm not saying writer's block never exists. But if I wanted to run a marathon (ha ha ha ha!) yet never went jogging, what are the odds I'd ever be considered a runner? I can't think of any other fields besides writing and other arts, where people can just say "I just can't do this" for weeks on end, yet still be considered a practitioner without having actually accomplished anything. I think most cases of writer's block are really more cases of a writer just wanting to do something else besides write.

Or maybe that's just me! Someone wise once said "Writing is 1% inspiration, 99% not getting distracted by the Internet."

How not to get distracted? If I knew the answer...I'm not sure I'd be blogging tonight. I'd probably be off writing. :)

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