Swinging at smoke…

Writing is hard.

It’s a very cyclical thing for me. It moves along in stages. What those stages are, how long they last, and whether or not I recognize them as they’re happening all vary on a case by case basis.

Right now I’m in the JFC everything is crap stage.

It happens.

I’ve spent a lot of time staring at my writing folder—like I do—trying to discern what I should be working on. Truth is, I really don’t know.

Once upon a time I went through and summarized all of my “active” projects. It was a lot more difficult than it should have been. And I’ve been trying to do an updated version of it with the current active list for…a long time. It’s an exercise in brevity and it’s incredibly difficult for someone like me who has a tendency to ramble incessantly, especially when it comes to talking about writing.

I want to write a brief summary of the plot, a few notes on where my brain is at on the given project, and a snippet of text from the actual story. Problem is I could go on for hours about each one when “summarizing” the plot. (I might need to lookup the actual definition of the word summarize, because clearly it doesn’t mean what I think it means.) As for where my brain is at with each one, a lot of it generally comes out as fuck if I know. And when it comes to pulling out a few lines of text…I want to take paragraphs.

And then I have a twenty-thousand word post.

Give or take.

I’ve considered doing an individual post on each one in a series. Then I could ramble all I want. But it’s supposed to be about brevity. And while that’s clearly not one of my strong suits, that’s what I want it to be.

So as it goes with everything in writing, I keep hacking and slashing until it resembles something I’m more or less okay with.

Or I shove it back in the drafts folder and forget about it for awhile.

Fair warning…this whole thing is five-thousand-some-odd words. (The last one I did was 3000+…so…)

So much for that whole brevity thing, I guess.

Hey—it’s fairly brief commentary for each story. But once you pile them all together…

Continue reading “Swinging at smoke…”

Just open the door…

The purgatory of writer’s block often sends my brain in wild directions, desperately grasping for ideas I can work with. This is generally where the inane fanfiction enters the picture, but even that collective monstrosity is at a standstill these days.

Oh I have ideas.

I always have ideas for terrible fanfiction. But those ideas are just as trapped as the legitimate material rolling around in my head.

I am shockingly adept at sabotaging myself—which is probably an inherent ability of any creative sort—when it comes to writing. I can take any idea and obliterate it in seconds flat just by thinking who would actually read this shit?

The answer to that question is ME.

I would read this shit. That’s why I write it.

Inane and mundane are kind of my thing.

I write for myself. I always have. And as long as I remember that detail, I don’t have too much of a problem with questioning every last word I put down on the page. But as soon as I start thinking about an audience other than myself, shit starts falling apart.

I have no concept of time when it comes to writing. Meaning I have no idea how long I’ve actually been working on a given project unless I have a specific date or some other landmark to reference. I’ve been poking at this idea for the last…while, thinking I started it a few months ago. Then I went and looked up the original document and realized it’s been almost a full year since I started it. And I know it was poking me in the brain for a long time before I ever put any words on a page for it.

Well then.

I had this idea crop up…apparently over a year ago…and futzed around with it for awhile, but kept getting hung up on a number of factors—character names, timeline, et al—so it just kind of floundered. But I kept poking at it, like I do, and recently things started falling into place a little easier. I had a much more solid idea of what I wanted to do with it. And then, true to form, my demented little brain interrupted with a loud HEY! What if THIS happened!? And hey, that might make for a more interesting trail of events, but it would completely derail the original plan and make it an entirely different story than I originally had in mind.

So which one do I use?

Plan A…which is more fluffy and fun and already has a few pieces that I really like.

or

Plan B…which starts out similarly, then takes a shift from the fluffy to more serious, but has the potential to be far more interesting overall. BUT the pieces that I really like can’t be used because they no longer apply to the plot.

Sometimes when I have two vastly different ideas for the same project, I can make some sort of distorted hybrid, but it won’t work in this case. It’s basically taking my original idea and making a single change that changes everything. And while I like both, I kind of have to decide which one I like better. Unless I want to try writing both. Which could be done. I’ve tried it with other projects. One usually stalls out before the other though.

So while grappling with the debate over which plan to move ahead with, I’ve been spilling words on Plan B trying to see if it will work—ten thousand words later, the jury’s still out.

And then that demented little brain gremlin decided to interrupt again—but-but what if you use THIS character INSTEAD!? And then the great debate over a character I thought I had figured out started all over again.

And then my brain started leaking out my ear, so I opened a game of solitaire and pressed play on another O.A.R. playlist.

What?

Also…

WTF is happening on my sidebar?

How long has this been happening and how do I get rid of it?

What. Ever. WORDPRESS.