First, a confession. I haven’t written in nearly a week. Maybe it has been a week. I honestly don’t remember the last time I sat down and wrote. It’s horrible. I’ve run into some kind of block. It could be fear based. It could be lack of planning. It could be I don’t know what the hell my story is about or why I’m writing it. All I know is I’m stuck and I don’t like it. (looking back at this paragraph it sounds mostly like an inner editor/critique sabatoging me).
Which really sucks because the last time I had a writing session, I remember it going very well. I wrote an actiony scene in which my MC did something she didn’t know she had the ability to do, and then she passed out from the exertion/adrenaline.
Now she needs to wake up. Easy, right?
“Marietta woke up.” Done. Yeah?
And I know what comes next. They have to go to a certain town and visit a certain person and beg/convince that person to do something for them. This will not be without some cost. The person they have to visit is the Hero’s ex-lover and they did not part on good terms 12 years ago. AND he knows she will make him feel vulnerable and he fears that above all else. But he knows they must go there. She is the only person who can do what they need to have done.
Last week I ran into this blog post (posted by my writer friend, Lori Freeland).
It was kind of eye opening. I’m an instant gratification person, and, as mentioned previously, I need external validation. So I like to share bits and peices of my first draft with people. I like to ask them questions about things like, “do you think someone who has “this” trait would do “that” thing?
But I also see the mistake in this. You see, I’ve submitted my first 20 pages to my critique group twice. And in the time between submitting and the actual meeting in which they tell me what they liked and didn’t like, I’d already changed those pages and made them better. Added more tension. More action. More feeling. More motivation. I’ve already made them better.
There’s no point in sharing something that is ever changing until it feels ready to be shared.
So, going forward, I am going to keep my story to myself. I’m going to write with the door closed. Metaphorically. Because usually I write on my lunch break in a wide open lunch room with white noise playing in my headphones to drown out CNN playing too loud on the TV and the cackling of other lunchers.
I’m also going to re-read On Writing by Stephen King where the blog poster in the linked blog above got the idea of writing with the door closed.
Peace and Keep Writing!
Claire L. Fishback