Go from Frustration to Joy as a Fiction Writer!
This Might Shock You, But...When You Sit Down to Write Fiction, Forget Words! Words Can Be Your Biggest Enemy!
Hey, you're a writer. You love words and the perfectly crafted sentence. I know. I do, too! However, focusing on words when you're beginning your story can quickly lead to feelings of frustration, overwhelm and even failure. These feelings can haunt and make it more and more difficult to sit down and write again. It's a deadly cycle.
Your best, most powerful and beautiful writing happens when you are not thinking about words.
My advice to myself and to you: forget words. Your best writing happens when you are lost in your characters and the drama of your story. Then you are in the flow. You are not there.
We all want to be in the flow of our writing!
There are several ways this can happen. Today I am focusing on the craft of fiction writing. Why craft first? I'll put it this way: If I draw a squiggle, it's a squiggle. If Picasso draws a squiggle, it's art. And, it truly is. He was a born painter (as we are born writers), and he studied his craft for years. He was a dedicated, passionate student before he became an artist.
Craft is the foundation that allows the writing to flow!
Craft once learned, is yours forever. It grows more powerful and subtle as you grow as a writer. I have developed a way to teach craft that I call The Five Ingredients of the Scene. Learn to use them well and they will create an enormous shift in your writing. As one of my students, Tom Brennan, wrote: it all comes from character.
Fiction writing Is first and foremost a visceral experience.
The ultimate journey of the writer is to become your character. You see through your character's eyes, hear through your character's ears, taste what your character tastes, love what your character loves, hate what your character hates. It is this process in which you immerse yourself when you become at home with The Five Ingredients of the Scene.
The Five Ingredients as Building Blocks of the Scene:
1. Point of View
3. Dramatic tension/Action
For me, writing was the great mirror or tunnel into my soul. You see, Emily is always harping on burrowing into your unconscious. She believes you will find something there that truly terrifies you and if you can break the barrier, you’ll discover a rich source of writing. Harness the unconscious, make the demons work for you, corral the devils that lurk in your soul and let them take you on the most glorious ride you’ll ever have through your own self. How do I know this happened to me?
First of all, my wife told me. 'You’ve changed. You’re different, more in charge of yourself,' she said.
Not that I’m perfect, but I have a lot less demons running my life. And the search never stops. There is nothing quite so rewarding and beautiful as discovering your inner self. The price is high: rejection, anger, loss, a certain scaredshitness that comes along with the writing, but the journey is worth it.