Moving Backward In Time (The Act Of Writing Series)

Scenes come to me in random order. The truth is realizing this, took me some time. But, ideas just aren’t going to be thought of in logical order for any plot. Accepting this fact saved me a lot of frustration. It is what it is, simple as that.

Something came to me a good year or so ago, and only in the last few months did I start to see more. Now, it’s one of my main projects. To be perfectly honest, I have high hopes for it.

I can see now that part of what took me so long to connect to the rest of the story was my idea of what my idea should be was getting in the way. I realized one day while I was listening to Keepsake by State Radio that that scene was the end of the story.

Something I swear by when I’m in the early stations of creation now is writing myself questions in the themed-notebook.

I wrote down: What’s her name?

Then automatically wrote down, Samantha.

Something that I’ve been working on lately is NOT controlling what goes down on paper first. The effect of getting more and more projects under my belt was that I found myself editing way too soon. One can’t edit what isn’t written. I found myself getting bogged down in the first paragraph. Then I made a new cardinal rule for myself, everything I write, I write on paper first. Accepting where I was in the process of the project was a huge stepping stone for me because I started to listen to my instincts as a storyteller first before I brought the bigger picture into it. Learning to pay attention to what my ideas were showing me, single-handily opened the door to juggling multiple projects. Every project has a separate notebook, and then I have a notebook that’s just random ideas and set to-do lists for all my projects—which is clutch.

(Accepting the creative process for what it is.)

Free-writing is just as important has scheduled work sessions and task lists, maybe even more. The process of taking passing ideas, growing into a structured plot, and packaging it for the world to see can be a long, arduous, and at times misleading journey. Characters once created can be tricky. They need to be handled just like the plot, but there is a time and place for that kind of thinking. First the thoughts need room to get weird and off base. The first draft should be raw. Hair needs to be there to be styled, walls need to be built before they are painted, and a story needs to exist before it gets crafted.

All of this takes time. Patience and faith in yourself are the best things you can do for yourself as a writer, oh and write continuously and furiously.

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