HOW THE FICTION WRITER LEARNS TO WELCOME THE UNKNOWN
What is good fiction writing technique? How do we unleash the creative energy through the channels of character and story?
Craft and technique are necessary, but the trick is to not put the cart before the horse. Technical expertise alone cannot release the writer's passion, and the perfectly turned phrase will please the ego, but if it doesn't translate into something meaningful for the character and story, it is so much wasted word count.
Not that there's anything wrong with seeking the perfectly turned phrase. I seek it myself. It's a great delight for the mind; the problem is when we confuse perfection of outer form with the essential task of the fiction writer: create flesh and blood characters and tell a good story.
Revealing the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself is, for most writers, a difficult task. It requires getting otr of what we think we ought to write and not set limitations on what we think we should be writing. Experience tells me that our best writing comes when we leave behind our mind's expectations and journey into the unknown, into that fertile landscape of shadows, mist, fertility and birth that that holds a truth beyond the mind's understanding.
Often such a journey shows up characters, story lines and landscapes that we never expected, might not want to write about and fear we don't have the expertise to write about, even if we try. So what is the writer to do?
Trust the call of the unknown characters and plots. Forget words, they do not chart the writer's course. Take risks, even if the characters and story lines that show up scare and intimidate you. For if you take the journey in the imagination, I assure you that you find yourself lost, confused and challenge.
Become a fearless writer. Plow ahead. Trust. If you do, you emerge from the mists and shadows into a landscape more vibrant than the one you left behind. Miraculously, you will find yourself writing the story you never thought you'd write. These are the stories and characters that your mind could not imagine but your heart hungers to write.