Daily Archives: November 21, 2010

My Wife – A Confession

Derived from http://ketutar.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=72#/dy0ciw - used with permissionI have no idea how many Husbands out there have their Wives as their main Muse. I guess, hope, wish, fantasize, that I am not the only one. Yeah, I know it is kind of TACKY and CLICHÈ. My Wife would say that it is ROMANTIC.

Tacky or not – for me it’s true. I used to write a lot when I was much younger – another cliché – to handle my existential angst. Like a Byron, Shelley, KeatsBoye, Lagerkvist or Anderson. I fancied myself if not on par with those then at least not far from. I still think that some of what I wrote then was that good.

Then I met my wife. Found other ways of dealing with my angst, and for a while I wrote very little fiction or poetry.

But Wives are trusty creatures :D My better half kept poking me, kept asking me about a few characters I had shared with her, prodded me, nudged and nagged. The  she dragged me over to NaNoWriMo in 2008. Nothing, absolutely nothing. ‘Cause I thought I’d actually have to write a REAL Novel, one of quality, that could be published after some editing.

It wasn’t until this year, this NaNoWriMo, that I realized that it’s all about getting the word count, not about the quality or even the outline. So what if my characters are shallow, inconsistent and Mary-Stu’s to the power of 100? Let them be, let them, and let the storyline run all over a horribly thought out world. So what if my first 50k words are noting but The Greatest Generic Predictable and Non-Unique NaNo Novel ever written? Really. Who does it harm, if I manage to write 50k words – which translates to around 200 pages of PROSE – I have never done that before, so in actually doing it I will have WON´- over myself, my inner critic, my bad self-confidence and above all over my inability to ever FINISH anything :D

All that because of my Wife.

Darling, I love you.

Btw – do go and have a look at my Wife’s Blog on Writing, she has worked so hard at making it worth your while – nice, personal posts all about her struggles and victories in writing, with links, a stack of Fantasy Writing Prompt Generators and links to other writers’ blogs.

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Let the Story surprise you…

There was a post in the NaNoWriMo Forums which I got inspired by.

“One subject that keeps resurfacing on this forum is the idea that characters are somehow able to make their own choices. While this is a cute idea, it sounds like it is derailing some would-be authors. Rather than try and address this misunderstanding on a case-by-case basis, I thought it might be a good idea for us to explore why some people feel this way and what the harm of it is. […] The big pitfall of believing your characters are actual, sentient beings is that you lose the ability to tell the best possible story with them. Grow too attached and you’ll always find a way to keep bad things from happening to the character. You’ll enhance their traits until they’re the embodiment of everything you want to be. You’ll give them unrealistic rewards, or become blind to their faults. You’ll stop using them to serve the needs of the story, and they will become a parody of excellence that you may adore, but no one else will want to read.

Nah, I don’t believe that my characters are People (well they are people in the story, like any third person I see and describe the actions or words of in life), nor do I think that my characters ‘hijack’ my story/stories. But I do believe that my ‘storyteller some times comes up with twists and turns, concepts and ideas, that was not present in my mind when I started out writing. That is not the doing of my characters, that is the doing of ‘the story’. I had one of those ‘incidents the other day – I was plodding along in cavern full of possibly dangerous creatures (that was planned) when “Mr Bright Idea” started hollering from somewhere in my word counting brain that I absotively NEEDED an order of cloistered monks! I could not let go of this idea, every other word that my mind produced had to do with cloistered monks. Now the Monks are in the story, and they work fine there – but it was a twist in the story I had not anticipated. I don’t believe any story is a slave to me. I feel that part of telling a story is in the ability to let it surprise me, as it possibly will those who read.

Some ideas and twists might have to wait for later in the story – for me the ART of writing and the CRAFT of writing are not mutually exclusive, on the contrary, when my mind comes up with an idea that ‘absotively’ has to get ‘in there’, it is a test of my ability to get the story where it is supposed to go despite the unexpected twist.

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