When I decided to start a blog, it wasn’t going to be a writing blog. It was going to be a blog about faeries. The only problem about that is I write about faeries. The two go hand and hand in my mind, like chocolate and caramel. They are fantastic on their own, but put them together and I can’t resist. I’m a bit embarrassed that I’m only on my second post, I’m already about to blather on and on about writing.
I started writing again back in January of this year. I decided in May of 2010 it was time for me to start writing again. It had been too long and I was yearning to do something creative with my life. I work in an office and that can sometimes choke the life right out of a person. Like a buffardello, it can perch upon your chest and cause nightmares.
I’ve written roughly 300 pages in the past year on my WIP. Most of it will need to be scrapped. I know it’s all a part of the process. You can’t ignore a craft for 10 or 11 years and expect to be good at it again. Most of it is crap, but some of it, a few snippets of dialogue and a few paragraphs is description, is really quite good. No great, but at this stage in the game, I’ll take good.
I’m addicted to writing blogs and writing workshops. I have a few dozen writing books. I’ve read thousands of pages on writing in the past year. I think it has been more of a hindrance than a help at this point and it is stifling my writing process.
I’m so caught up in making sure the first five pages are great that I keep starting over again. I worry that I have too many characters or not enough characters. My characters keep me up most nights. They want me to tell their stories, but I’m so paralyzed by fear that I can’t. I am letting them down.
I sat down yesterday on my lunch break and came up with the following list:
For the 1st Draft of my WIP, I give myself permission to:
· Develop all of the characters I want
· Develop all of the subplots that I want
· Write as much back story as I want
· Write as much or as little description as I want
· Believe in myself
· Write Badly
· Write Brilliantly
I’ve realized that if I can’t let myself do these things, I will never get to the next step—editing. In the editing process I can make sure the first five pages are dynamite. I can eliminate characters or subplots that don’t work for the story and maybe use them in another story. I can cut or add enough back story so that the reader isn’t bogged down. I can hone and whittle away at my descriptions.
In order to be perfect, I must first be imperfect. It really is as simple as that. And it scares the hell out of me.