In lieu of Part 2…

Part 2 of Mandy Meets the Goblins is coming, even though it’s a rather silly little story, but it’s not coming to me tonight for some reason. It’s strange how one evening an idea can seem as clear as finest crystal, while the next day the whole thing seems to unravel. The evening after that, which is tonight, gives only partial knowledge of where something is going. Given the fact that I’ve head a migraine all day, I’m willing to forgive myself and allow this musing post to be written instead. Anyway, it’s after midnight, and as some of you may know, I tend to post ramblings at this hour.

It’s been a week now, and I’ve written for two hours every day, except for one day off, Friday, when I wrote for only half an hour. My current project has gone from around twelve pages to fifty during this week. That doesn’t mean what I’m writing is particularly good. It doesn’t mean that it all makes sense. There’s LOTS of research ahead of me, if I want to get things right. But at the moment, I’m focusing on just letting the story take me where it will.

You know how writers say that sometimes the story takes them somewhere completely different than where they had intended to go? You know how they say that characters surprise them, or that the characters tell them who they are in such a strong voice that the writers simply can’t ignore them? I always had trouble believing this stuff. I mean, I believed that the writers felt that way, but I had a hard time understanding how that was possible. But now, for the first time, I feel exactly that. I feel my story and characters taking on lives of their own. I suddenly realized that one character has completely formed its voice without me really doing much. I discovered that my story, which was very loosely outlined, will have to be much lengthened and more complex and might not go where I’d thought it would.

The best thing? Writing hasn’t been a chore. It’s been fun. The hope that comes with that face is growing so large that it’s frightening me.

A Thought On Writing

Although I’m writing about essay-writing in this particular instance, I’m pretty sure that this happens in creative writing as well.

There is a point, while writing something, when your brain simply goes numb. You catch yourself staring at the computer screen or at the notebook in front of you, and for a moment you’re almost sure that no thoughts have gone through your head for the past two minutes. Of course, if you think about it, you realize that you’ve been thinking the whole time, but not about anything profound or interesting – definitely not about what you’ve been writing. Rather, you’ve been thinking about your next meal, or the dress your friend just bought, or the trees with their pretty autumn leaves outside.

It’s a strange sensation – almost like your mind is betraying you, for once it gets to this point, it’s often really hard to get your mind to function properly once more. You may need, at this point, to get up and stretch and do something completely different. If you try to stare at the page for much longer, you’ll fall into despair and won’t manage, under any circumstances, to write something you’re pleased with. It’s a tricky situation, and one which I’ve been reaching over and over again in the past couple weeks.

The real problem is when you don’t let yourself take that break from whatever you’re writing. It’s a problem I repeat too much. I need to learn to listen to my brain, and when it tells me to stop and get up and do something else, I should do it, instead of sit and force myself to write for another half hour or hour or two or three. Having said that, I am, of course, going back to my extremely poorly written essay, even though my brain is going fuzzy. Alas, I must ignore my own conclusions for tonight.