Look long enough   Leave a comment

Sunlit November trees.
A scarf of woodsmoke curls between the mountains.

Look long enough at beauty, someone says.
You’ll begin to see more things as they are.

/|\  /|\  /|\

So, Nano writing update:  was out of town at a conference yesterday, and got no writing done.  That means today’s a triple push:  tomorrow I have a class, a car appointment, and a (late) Samhain celebration with a friend, so there’ll be less time to write.  And catch up from yesterday, along with today’s 1667 words.

I’m grateful they keep coming.  You know a story is launched — and this says nothing about its quality, only about whether it’s alive for the author, at least — when characters invade your dreams and begin telling you stuff about themselves.  And while exercising this morning on our secondhand treadmill in our breezeway (45 degrees, but warmer than outside), I got another piece of plot.  Rather, more a set of questions to ask (and answer), and a couple of flashes of image-ideas.  By the end of today, I should be at least at the 10,000 word mark if I’m to stay on track.

My main character has retreated to her house in Santa Fe to take stock.  (Why Santa Fe?  I’ve no idea.  Never been there.  Would like to, yes.  Have to do some research, to see how I might use the locale.)  Now to avoid merely lengthy exposition and instead make things happen.  I might be able to get away with some flashback, dramatize bits of the past that are now relevant.  I keep picking up the stray question here and there that won’t let go, and it generates backstory — in some cases, gobs of backstory.  But no stopping to worry about whether the story should begin somewhere else.  That’s for a revision. Right now the point is to keep going, keep seeing new pieces I wouldn’t encounter any other way.  In that way it’s like any creative process.  The road rises to meet your feet as you keep walking.

Maybe you’ve had the dream version:  you’re dreaming, you come to a cliff, you’re aware enough to say, “It’s a dream — I can jump and nothing will happen!  Woo-hoo!”  So you toss yourself in complete abandon, enjoying the thrill of that reckless plunge you would never take awake, but  just as the cliff edge spins away above and behind you, you terrify yourself by asking:  what if it’s NOT a dream?!

With luck, at this point, you don’t wake yourself up, heart pounding, breathing hard.  Instead, you watch to see how you will land, and where, whether you will sprout wings and fly someplace else, etc.  In other words, you’re hungry to know what will happen next?!  Don’t let me wake up yet!

Curiosity’s one of the best tools I know.

Advertisements

Thanks for visiting! Comments?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: