Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Season of Joy

I had a lovely time talking today with a writer friend I've known for...well, if our friendship were a person it could go to grade school. Or maybe junior high. The conversation fell, as it often does, to inspiration or the lack thereof, which fit her current situation. How is someone supposed to write when it feels like a second job and the first one takes all the mental energy anyway?

Really good question. I think we all can identify with that at one time or another. When real life packs a whallop, it can be very hard to get into story mode. We talked some about pressure and expectations and the huge cement wall they can build between writer and story.

I asked if she could remember a time when writing was really fun -- what happened then that isn't happening now? The answer was quick -- thinking of romances gone wrong on favorite TV shows and how they should have been. Ideas for those all over the place.

Did she have one such story she really really really wanted to tell, even if she knew for a fact nobody would ever see it? Not an agent, not an editor, not her kitties, not me, not anybody but her and her alone. Sure! She was off like a shot, creative and enthusiasitc.

What if...what if she wrote that one? Don't think about selling or career planning right now. Put in a box and set it aside and write a really good story. Enjoy it. There's time to go back later, change the names and identifying details. Figure out the core of the story and characters and see if there's another time and place for the essence of it all. I've been known to do that a time or two. It's worth a try when stuck, and I will admit to a few stories or parts of stories lingering around waiting for an update.

It's that what if thing we writer types have going on in the back of our brains. Sometimes it needs a workout just because, go back to something familiar and take it in a new direction. Might be worth checking my old files...just for fun.

1 comment:

Marguerite Arotin said...

Hi Anna :-),
I like this topic because my current project The Last Sorceress, actually came about this way. The idea had been stuck in the back of my head since I was watching t.v. a couple of years ago and saw one of my favorite 80's sci-fi movies, The Last Starfighter. Around that time, Fantasy RPG games started getting big and I go hooked on Diablo. I kept thinking that it would be neat to write a story about a character from a fantasy realm who recruits humans from world to fight in his world via these RPG games. I wrote the idea down in a notebook I had and figured I might try to write it someday. Then jsut a few months ago, I met a really nice guy online who writes fantasy. I told him my idea and he encouraged me to give it a try. My current WIP was goign no where so I figured, hey why not? So he helped me with a lot of the details about the game as well as details for the online tournament/convnetion that my ogre hero uses to bring gamers to his world. I sent him the first chapter and he loved it. Then I started uploading chapters to my critque group, and they loved it too. Now I really think it might be my best work to date (I do have the first chapter posted on my site at http://www.ohioromance.net/excerpts.htm if you'd like to check it out :-).) Anyway, sometimes those little ideas stuck in the back of your mind and saved for a rainy day can turn into something great ;-)