I’ve been struggling with my writing for the past few days. Both my detail obsessiveness and general insecurities went into an attack frenzy and my writing felt wooden and wrong.
I recognize the symptoms. It is the my-story-suck-and-is-better-left-alone crisis that prop up every now and again whenever I am trying to write longer fiction. It is the point where my story nags itself to death. Sometimes I let it to make it easier on myself. Struggling with a story isn’t half as fun as it is to play with new exciting ideas. But I am determined not to let it happen this time. I like my idea, it is good and relevant and I need to write this story.
So to get the nagging cow off my back I decided to play around with the structure of my story, I added another voice and another POV, but it didn’t help, it just offered the detail-police in my head more fodder. I turned to my new favorite procrastination hide-out. Twitter. And I think I’ve discovered what my problem is, courtesy of @joe_hill answering a reader’s question about where to start a new story. Joe Hill told the reader to get the idea up front. Its not a new thing to me, but at right that moment it was just what I needed to hear. Start where the story gets good. (read his whole reply here)
I never know where to start my stories. My head is flooding with ideas, facts, locations, people and back story. So I flounder and write a lot of words that may be relevant to to the story, but might be better parsed out in small bits over the course of the tale.
So, with Joe Hill’s words in my head I sat down with my story and gave it a good hard look. And I have chugged a good 12.000 words. Which scares me witless actually, because I am a child of NaNoWriMo and the word count is alpha omega. But at the same time I feel released from a heavy burden. I suppose mental clutter causes as much stress as physical clutter in the attic does.
Another way to shut up unwanted inner-voices is via music and today’s clarity also came thanks to this amazing number, which for the past two hours has been playing non-stop from my headphones.
Hearing Damage by Thom Yorke. Video is rubbish, but the music is amazing.