As always we are guided in this quest by awesome co-hosts who volunteer their time to make sure the solace spring flows. This month they are Janet Alcorn, Pat Garcia, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence! Visit their links, leave a comment, and keep the conversation going. This group is all about connection.
The question for March 2 is: Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?
This one is a fascinating question. They all get some creative thinking going, but this one in particular made me sit with my mouth half open for several moments, doing that squint thing we all do to try to make the brain-memory do the thing. (Narrator: SE’s brain-memory did not, in fact, do the thing.)
Have I ever been conflicted about writing a story? Well . . . no. Because, at the time, that story has grabbed onto my muse with the strength of an eight foot octopus trying to tell you about our lord and savior, Poseidon. Nothing about it seems wrong to me in the moment because that moment is so damn persuasive. Those shower sessions with invisible people are compelling! Later when the story has had time to rest and someone qualified has attacked with with their Axe of Editing I start to see the flaws inherent. And I fix the flaws inherent (and then find MORE). And the story which started out one way has taken many different turns because my characters dropped a brick on the gas pedal and took over the steering wheel many chapters ago. It’s an entirely new story by now, but I still love it.
I didn’t feel conflicted to start with because I went “what if?” and it sounded so fun. The plot went buck-wild on me during the process anyway, and by now I’m just following my characters desperately, holding a notebook and a pencil clenched between my knuckles while screaming, “but WHAT is your MOTIVATION? WHY ARE YOU SO DIFFICULT?!” Somehow, conflict doesn’t have time to enter the chat room in this (definitely organized, sane, and very relaxing, yep, yes indeed) creative process.
I think the closest I get to conflicted about a story is when I sieve it through my shiny Write the Blurb First Process. I got the idea from another writing blog (Janice Hardy from Fiction University) and it works pretty well for me. I get the story idea, write out a few fun ideas, organize a little, and try to identify the main point of what I’m saying. Then I write an EXCITING and SEXY and BUYABLE little back copy for it. At this point it either A) sounds like it will be able to carry an entire 60K words-Green Light Go or B) sounds waaaay more boring than it did in my daydreams and will totally not carry an entire plot-Red Light that sucker just like Squid Games. That sounds like a conflict, so let’s go with it.