I know, I’m late posting my Monday blog. Oh, the joys of working in the corporate world where they mess around with your schedule meeting their needs, not yours. Ho hum, grumble, grumble.
Anyway, Tuesday is as good as Monday to post a blog, and I have the day off to ponder thoughts. To balance my check book. To clean the downstairs. To clean the inside windows and blinds. Oh, and can’t forget, clean out the lower kitchen cupboards. But, I’m sure you all didn’t come to read about my ‘To-Do’ list for the day, don’t want to wear anyone out doing that.
Instead, I’d like to share about a book I’ve been reading on writing, “You Can Write a Novel”, by James V. Smith, Jr. Okay, it’s a really good book for you organized freaks, something I’m not. My taste is more to the organized chaos thing, making something totally from nothing, go with the flow, let your characters do all the work while you sit on your hiney (your bum, booty, buttocks…), listen, type, stop, listen and type some more. That is totally me.
However, I have to say I did find some things helpful like keeping profiles on your characters. Of course, this lover of organized chaos found some of it too full of systematized dread, like going through magazines and cutting out pictures of people that may resemble your characters.Really? Oh my God(I don't think so), that’s too much like couponing for me. That would take up too many hours. But, I do have notes and bios on some of my new characters. That’s a good thing because sometimes when I ‘Fart Write’ I do forget what they look like. Sometimes(my hubby still says I'm a perfect candidate for Alzhiemers).
When it came to Scene Development…well, I tried and whatever creativity that lingered in my head went on a temporary vacation. It’s not my thing. If anything, it confused me more leaving me with empty-head-syndrome, a bad case of Writer’s Block. Talk about zoning out in pain. It hurt my brain. It really did. Some of us do better without conformity.
Another useful thing Mr. Smith says to use is a Chapter Log. This I can do, but not before I’ve actually written that chapter. It does help to keep me on track so I don’t forget what I wrote about in previous chapters. When I wrote my first novel, I did get lost the further I delved into it and found myself reading the darned thing over and over, the epitome of organized chaos.
He also advices writing your ending chapter first. Tried too, but it wouldn’t come. Like I said, it’s my characters that run with it, I’m just there to type whatever they want me, too. Now there have been times when my characters call an emergency conference because they’re stuck in the Droopy Middle of their story telling, they do get bored sometimes, you know.
In my last novel, the main character really wanted to have a live make out session with her sweetie, which by the way was a good portion of the end. If I were her, I would be sick of running from bad guys, too, and would need something like a dark chocolate bar (the closest thing to an orgasm for me). Okay, so I let her have a little cheat by going to the end, and after, we were able to finish the middle all the way toward the end. Everybody was happy.
All in all, I found a lot of what Mr. Smith said to be helpful. My best advice for any writer that attends workshops or reads books on the ‘How to of the Craft”, is to keep what works for you, be it an Organized Freaky system or an Organized Chaotic Freaky one.
Happy Writing All!