Temptations

It’s hard staying disciplined today. I’m going through through my monthly cycles*, and I’m on a creative high. Sounds good, but…

My imagination has too many ideas about the novel in progress, rendering the process more difficult and challenging. Through my muses or myself, I’m besieged with new what-if scenarios. Each demands to be considered and incorporated, or discarded. Once a path is chosen, my fingers dash over the keyboard in mad hammering. As scenes and chapters are finished, new ideas jump in again.

The problem isn’t having ideas about the story or characters, or a writing block. The problem is that there’s so many ways to tell the story, so many choices about what to write. It seems like an enviable situation. Don’t be fooled. Knowledge gleaned from writing other novels has informed me, too many ideas can end up with a messy, messy novel. I know that I can write it all up and edit and revise, but I think that writing along the wrong paths dissipates the novel’s essence. Besides that, my puny brain struggles to keep everything straight. Adding more complications…well, complicates that process. The challenge is to find the best path and keep focused on it despite the temptations to stray, and some of them are very, very tempting.

Got my coffee. Know what time it is? Yep, time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Note: my spectrums – the mood shifts from happy and optimistic, to dark and pessimistic and the energy levels that rise and fall – seemed monthly, perhaps driven by hormones, tides, or some other causes. My imagination runs on like cycles, as do my emotional and physical energy. Yes, some call this all hokum, others think of them as pseudo-science, but it’s something that I experience. Being aware of them helps me manage the dark times.

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3 thoughts on “Temptations

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  1. Came across your blog by chance bc I’m enthralled by the writing process — thank you for revealing yours, it’s the coolest thing to see. I support you, from wherever.

    You speak of possibilities and threads. What does the heart of your story telling you? How does that inform your writing journey? And you do you give your mind and soul a moment of rest to let it resonate from deep inside of you?

    These aren’t rhetorical questions, I’m genuinely curious about how it works with you.

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Veronica. Thanks for reading and asking some interesting questions.

      I’m an organic writer, a pantser, as it’s sometimes called, going by the seat of my pants. Playing with other metaphors, similes, and analogies, I don’t have a map. I’m in a forest, trying to find the right path to follow, usually in the dark, aided by a flickering, dim flashlight. I know the rough direction to the end, and how I suspect it will end, but as the story develops, the final ending often surprises me.

      The story’s heart develops slowly as the characters, concept, and story find more substance. As the heart develops, I can play ideas against it more often. The early days of a new novel are strewn with false starts and interesting ideas that don’t align with the concept, story, and characters in that they don’t allow the story to advance. As it all becomes firmer in my mind, more logic can be applied: if I follow this path, how do I get from here to there? How does this new idea collide with what’s already established? How does it tie back in overall?

      As Terry Pratchett said, the first draft is really just the writer telling himself the story. Once that first draft is completed and the arcs and details are understood, then ending and revision is addressed to trim away dead branches, sharpen the prose, tighten the cohesion, and improve the coherence and pacing.

      Yes, I give myself rests to let it resonate. I don’t think of it in those terms; I write what I can, writing every day, but sometimes, a gap is found. I leave the gap to let myself noodle over it subconsciously. Sometimes, I come back to it quickly, but just as often, I let it stew for days or weeks. I usually give credit to the muses when I finally start typing to address what happens in those gaps.

      The biggest danger for me within this medley of processes is that I’ll over-analyze where I’m at, what’s going on, how the writing or story are going, how it compares to other literature, etc.

      I know this was a lengthy response but I enjoy thinking about the process and trying to understand it for myself.

      Thanks again for the questions and interest. Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

      1. .. I don’t mind the lengthy response at all. You’ve been very gracious, I appreciate it and I *love* hearing these inner-workings.

        It’s a helpful wonder for me and the other writers who orbit my life (in my family and in my classroom).

        Look forward to hearing more, Michael, thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

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