Sad fact: Sometimes articulating the thoughts in my head is easier said than done. I know what I mean to say, but when I try to put them down on paper, or computer, or in everyday conversation, they don’t come out as well as I’d hoped.
Take for instance some of my blog posts. I have this idea in my head, but by the time I’ve published it, it’s not really what I initially expected it to be. There’s lots of words to be sure. Are they putting the message I want to convey out there? Hardly. Or at least it’s not happening quite the way I wanted it to…or thought it would. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I’m not sure. But it sometimes feels like I start out with a specific intention and end up making the post something else.
This can also extend to my writing at times. Generally I have the feeling that the book is writing itself through me and I don’t run into this problem (except for when it comes to “show vs. tell”). It’s when I try to force the writing that I bump into the problem of being able to get my descriptions, dialogue, etc. across. What to do then? Stop…just stop. Go on to something else. Maybe another writing project, maybe go read for a little while. Just step away from it and come back to it when my fingers aren’t trying to override the voices of my characters screaming in my head.
I have one book that I haven’t touched in over a year because it no longer feels like it’s being written through me. I think I’ve given that one up as a bad job, but you never know. I may come back to it in the future.
Another problem: You ever get this story idea that you think just totally kicks ass, get partway through it, then realize you just don’t have anything else? That’s happened to me countless times. I think there’s something around twenty or so books on my computer and/or USB that I don’t think I’ll ever touch again. Regardless of how good I thought the story was when I started out, it turned to nothing more than just a few ideas or specific pieces of dialogue. You can’t make a novel out of something if you can’t really see where it’s going…or where it’s been. I can’t anyway, maybe someone else can.
I have begun a few stories of mine from just bits and pieces of dialogue, or a particular scene that I couldn’t get out my head, and in these cases most have worked out well and become finished works……..but not all of them. I think the main reason it doesn’t work out so well is because in some of these I am not as attached to my MC as I am with others. I like the idea of their story, but I can’t bring myself to really delve into it the way I think a writer should. If I can’t go there, what makes me think anyone will be able to?
There are a lot of writers out there who will agree with me and a lot that won’t. Everyone has their own style and methods when they are trying to compose a novel. For this girl at least, one thing is certain…if I have to force it, I must walk away from it. At least for a little while.