If this is your first visit, be sure to
check out the FAQ by clicking the
link above. You may have to register
before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages,
select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.
It's from Cracked, so it's written in a slightly annoying "aggro" style, and it's about prose writing, but it's got all of the advice I've read on writer's block condensed pretty well.
I went there to read the article and got distracted by all sorts of other fascinating (or not so) links...
It doesn't hurt to be reminded but, of course, I already know all that stuff.
But the next long prose I write, I'm going to take John Irving's practice to heart: write the very end of the novel first, know exactly where you want to end up. This is, of course, the precise opposite of my process on almost every piece I've ever written. Because, of course, I make up the story because I want to experience a new story... working backwards from a single point, though... that sounds suspiciously like work.
But, the funny thing is, probably half of the long form writing I've attempted was aimed at suspense/genre/caper fiction. (Yes, I got sucked into the romanticization of the pulp writer like all the other hippie bohos of my day. Hammett, Chandler, others.)
And, of course, knowing where you're going is pretty much bedrock advice for mystery writers.
Thanks for posting, CM. I haven't been able to write more than a couple of ****************ty lines in months, so it was good to review all that stuff (which I should have already known). I keep getting stuck at "accept that you're going to write garbage." When I have what I think is a reasonably decent idea, I just can't force myself to flesh it out with a bunch of crap lines. "O.K., this might turn out to be good, so don't **************** it up!!!"
I keep getting stuck at "accept that you're going to write garbage." When I have what I think is a reasonably decent idea, I just can't force myself to flesh it out with a bunch of crap lines. "O.K., this might turn out to be good, so don't **************** it up!!!"
Anyone who has ever read any of my 1st drafts gets to see the idea of writing-crap-to-get-moving in action! It's the way I do it. And plenty of things I "commit" to the page as a 1st draft get tossed way. Not out of frustration but due to the fact that I've written something else that grabbed my interest instead. The great thing about not caring is that you've got more to choose from. But you've got to be willing to suck. I embrace suck. It spawns "doesn't suck".
The problem with not doing any of that ^ ^ ^ is that everything you do then becomes precious. In a couple of different ways. It becomes precious because it is scarce. And then we treat it as such. And are afraid to improve it because it is precious. When really, it's just one of too few ideas. We think it is a jewel we've uncovered in an Egyptian mine. "It's like God channeled it through me." So it's precious too as some sort of wonderful thing. Ohhh... my baby. But it's not. It's just a freaking song.