Monday, March 22, 2010

Thats what friends are for...

One of the problems of being a writer is that in my isolation I can drive round the same problem in circles for hours (days, months...) without finding a solution or a way forward. This is why you should not shut yourself away. Yesterday I walked the dog and had a coffee with a writer friend (thanks Elena!!) and as I explained to her the difficulties inherent in a particular plot element of a WIP of mine, I had a lightbulb moment. I had been handling this plot element all wrong. I had spent time taking this plot element out of the manuscript. I then decided its absence showed and started putting it back in...and thats when it all became too hard. I was avoiding work on this story because it was such an effort to make progress. In describing it to someone else I realised that it wasn't the plot element that was necessary, but the change that that plot element was responsible for. There could be other solutions to support the changes in this character. That plot element was like a whole other plot in itself and forcing it back in was inexorably forcing the story in a direction I didn't want it to go. Maybe one day this plot element will become a story of its own but I couldn't let it be a parasite/succubus on my little mid-grade mystery/thriller. Of course its not just the importance of talking writing with other writers here - its also about trusting your intuition. The fix I was working on was soooo hard this should have been a big red flag. It was so hard because it was WRONG. The relief when I realised all this was immense. Having been stuck at about a third of the way through editing this after 3 months of trying, I am now two thirds of the way through after one day. I can't wait to have this baby finished so I can e-mail it off and get stuck in to some other juicy things I have lined up.

Love the post over at Fifi Colston's blog today. Should we tell the whole truth and nothing but in our blogs? I try keeping it as real as possible and i'm sure many of you out there are experts at reading between the lines sometimes but ultimately my right brain usually asserts itself and does a little cost benefit analysis for me before (or sometimes soon after) I publish a post - (or a friend e-mails me and says 'you can't say that'). Sometimes I want to say more - sometimes I think silence can speak volumes. What do you think...

1 comment:

Old Kitty said...


Yay!! that you got through the barrier with your WIP! It's amazing how you find the solution to a problem when said aloud and especially with a sympathetic friend. Well done you. I hope you finish asap, get all published and start a new one. That's really nice to know.

Ooooh personally I think it's up to the blogger really. If someone thinks that they win friends by just ranting without any wit or humour at the very least, then that's their business and good luck to them. Personally I like blogs with a little thought, a little effort, a lot of warmth, creativity and above all humanity.

Like Fifi Coulson's blog - thanks for the link - I loved her poem!

Take care