Archive for the 'Fictionaut Five' Category
By the time I hit the end of what I already know the character will say or think, I’ve built up enough momentum that the character will keep on talking or thinking or acting, and I’m just sitting there taking notes.
Checking in with Atticus Books
When you feel stuck blocked, lazy, just write to your lowest standard. Get any, as many as you can, words on the page — or monitor. This works. Often I’ll just keep scrawling out awful stuff, and then in the process, suddenly hit gold. This bit of advice has gotten me through many a tough day.
I’m what I call an “empathetic writer”, which means I don’t try and write about characters, but try to actually become them, to see out of their eyes, hear what they hear, think and feel as they do. I erase myself. I give the story wholly over the character. In this way, my work as a writer has a closer kinship to method acting, than, say, journalism.
I watch a lot of musicians performing via YouTube just to get that sense of what it’s like to be completely involved – body and mind – and to put it all out there, 100%. That’s what I want to be like when I’m physically writing – albeit just with the computer.
Remember that scene on board the Millennium Falcon where Obi-Wan blindfolds Luke with a helmet then instructs him to hit the little flying droid with the light saber, saying, “Your eyes can deceive you; don’t trust them — stretch out with your feelings”? That’s the kind of mentor I’d like to have: the gentle, sage advisor who urges me to look within to see beyond.
Be patient with yourself and your progress. Don’t compare it to other peoples’ work or rewards. The only chance you have to make a difference is to cultivate your own way. There’s no use in looking over your shoulder or wishing you were a different kind of writer, another kind of thinker.
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