I had a story in my head, and was obsessed by it, but was scared to commit myself to being a ‘writer‘. I’d jumped in before; put one of my daydreams on paper, and had been horrified by my own writing. I didn’t know then it was okay to write badly because there was something called editing. So I put the story points in a spreadsheet to get the details out of my head.
That was too slow. I dumped the spreadsheet and the paragraphs started flowing. Short on time, I chose prose over plotting, letting the story tell itself while I committed it to the page. That was my first novel, finished in 8 months and as of now, it’s buried somewhere.
I was then convinced I didn’t need plotting. Which is probably why my next two novels took so long, and were rewritten so many times.
With my current work in progress, I got half-way through and because I’d taken a year off work, felt I had the luxury, to try things I’d always skimmed over: namely plotting, and research. While ultimately the writing is better, it’s also been infinitely easier.
I’ll never again try to write a novel or any long work without thinking through what I’m trying to accomplish in each scene, chapter, even paragraph.
I plot loosely, and always deviate from it, but the investment in that step is invaluable. Writing fiction without a plot for me is having to create a world out of thin air while trying to write about it. Plotting breaks up the process. I create the framework and roadmap through plotting, then fill in the blanks, let story live and steer itself when I write.
As a child growing up in the 70’s I read constantly, and watched too much television, while my thirsty imagination was insatiable. To fill the drought, I crafted novels in my head. I didn’t know that’s what they were. To me they were a destination, an escape from my boring life. My secret garden–my shame, kept my mind engaged, while feeding and fueling my natural gifting.
What I used as a way to cope with my lonely and monotonous childhood was the breeding ground of my anointing.
Had I understood myself better, I would have studied creative writing in college and gotten more from the experience. Instead I studied business and couldn’t wait to escape.
Once in the real world, I tried to pack my creative toybox away, like old Barbie dolls. The tendency kept cropping up, however, everyday life providing fuel for new stories. I didn’t understand or acknowledge it, but suppressing that part of myself kept me frustrated, and displaced until…
Finally, when I was in my forties, I found the courage to take the story out of my head and commit it to the page.
You are born to shine, so, get rich or die trying. We are divinely born and equipped to shine. Many of us have all been there, working hard to make money without understanding what drives us. What is that vision that drives you crazy? What is that one thing that you think about when you […]
I’m excited to be here. This has been a long path for me; to be comfortable with my gift without comparison or second guessing my choices, as they relate to another writer’s. My novels, from the place of origin, to path of completion, have acquired some readers along the way. And from the few reviews–they get what I’m trying to say. That’s amazing.
So along with continuing to create fiction, I’m committed to documenting my process of discovery. In the end, the labor of love is bigger than what I’m able to produce. But while I’m limited the medium is not.
The tools I employ, the approach, the mindset, and the emotions I experience, while creating fiction, most of that journey gets edited out of the final product. My assignment is to capture and document the unedited, unpolished moments. That’s where the real creativity takes place.
The published product may not end up being the best writing that occurred during the course of the project, but sacrifices must be made for the sake of a well crafted story.