Saturday, November 27, 2010

From Vignette to Short Story

The last couple of days have been productive.  It all began Wednesday evening as I settled down in front of my laptop.  I decided to re-write a vignette I originally wrote in 2008.  It was merely a scene of about 800 words and I wondered how far I could expand it.  I had made a preliminary attempt on Tuesday but wasn’t happy; it needed more.  I was staring at my laptop thinking how am I going to do this?  Well, as it often happens, I asked myself this question out loud.  Yes I talk to myself, I’m sure plenty of you do too, and in any case I was alone and nobody heard me.  Wait a minute!  I heard me!  And then it dawned on me to read it out loud to myself to determine how the reader would ‘see’ the story.  I got comfortable, loosened my stiff muscles and began to read.  And that’s when it happened.  But before I tell you, let me explain something first.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Quest To Be A Better Writer

Like a lot of other aspiring writers, I search the internet for anything having to do with writing.  Advice on how to write your first novel, finding a publisher or making the decision to self-publish abound with some of this advice being free and others available for a subscription, the purchase of an e-book or tuition for a course.  Any of these avenues can provide knowledge to those who seek it.  When the advice or tips are free, it’s great, but not everyone has the financial fluidity to sign up for a subscription here, buy a couple of e-books there and take a couple of courses.  There are the fortunate few that begin this career with a head start so to speak.  They may have an English degree, work in education or are already in some capacity working in this field – be it publishing, marketing, media, etc.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Writer's Block

Today, I want to talk about writer's block.  Exactly what is this condition called writer's block?  What causes it and what can remedy it?  Does everyone experience writer's block or is it just the malaise experienced by aspiring novelists?  How long does it last: hours, days, months? I hope not.

These questions have circulated inside my head for some time now.  I'm experiencing writer's block.  I say these words with the same sadness and fear one feels when stricken with an illness with no known cause or cure.  The sadness comes from the sudden loss of creativity and the fear slowly sinks in a bit later when there's no clear sign that creativity will return. 

What should I do?  Well, sometimes I'll read other novels to keep my mind occupied so that I don't think about 'my problem'.  I normally listen to music for enjoyment but lately I do it to relax since I'm tense about not writing.  I also lean on my friends for support during my 'difficult' time.  Alas, no one can help me for I have to find my way out of the limbo that I am currently in.  This limbo is like a revolving vortex that surrounds an arid valley where nothing grows and you feel like a waterless well: barren.  Dramatic isn't it?  Yes, I watch the Syfy channel.

How did this happen? In my case, I blame it on everyday stresses like finances and teenage children.  But finances and parenthood are part of life and we do the best we can.  Just like every other single mother in the world, I resolve my problems, take care of my home and family and hold a full-time job.  I have a good network of friends who support me and surround me with their positive and uplifting energy.  This is a wonderful thing, because I know that I'm not alone and that I'm loved.

Now, why am I still not writing? I haven't found an answer, but let me say this.  I hope to one day be a published novelist.  This is my story: I started working on a young adult novel in the Fantasy/SciFi genre, and I experienced what I thought at the time was a 'momentary' block. I tried to shake it off and not worry or think too much about it.  Shortly thereafter, inspiration for another novel overtook me.  I proceeded to work on this second novel, but now have experienced writer's block again. This time the block has persisted and I began to worry.  Presently, I have two novels that I have begun but somehow can't move forward on.  I'm proud of the work I've done so far and I would hate for the stories that I want to tell to die before they get off the ground.  I just need to unlock the vault where they lie dormant waiting for me to release them.

I have potential.  Potential is a good thing, but what really is potential?  As I understand it, potential is the promise of ability.  But unless potential is followed by a lot of effort, potential really gets you nowhere.  Now, effort is an action that executes the energy that one exerts to complete something.  Well, I certainly have energy so all I really need is to be dumped into a vat of creativity to get my writing juices flowing.  Then I can use my energy and make the effort to put my potential to good use.  I don't know about you, but I haven't seen any creativity vats lying around for me to jump into.  Perhaps I should awaken the Greek Gods and appeal to the Writing Muse.  

Oh, Muse of Creativity
Of Prose and Poetry
I beseech thee to aid me in my quest
Remove all blocks in my way
So that I may write today

I conclude this editorial so that I can relax in my bedroom and listen to music with the lights off until I drift off to sleep or astral project to Narnia. 

Until the next time,