Friday, November 28, 2008

All my poor little brain can manage

There is so much information out there on writing and the best of it is gold. Solid gold. Molly calls it handing us the keys to the kingdom and in many ways it is.
The scene and sequel description Maureen blogged about on Wednesday, Story, by Robert McKee, On Writing by Stephen King and countless other guides to writing fiction out there.
They help us refine, cut, and edit, they guide us where to start the story, how to increase tension and make every word count.
And they are really useful.
But hard to incorporate while writing. I know, having read the above, attended workshops, talked about all of the above with my fellow Drunk Writers, I’m not thinking about them when I’m writing. Sometimes when I’m editing, usually when I run into problems, but otherwise, I hope they’ve seeped into my brain, because most of the time they just aren't top of mind.
There are two things I’ve been thinking in my head when writing this current draft. The first is my new favourite quote from JR Ward. Plots are like sharks, they keep moving forward, or they die.
Friggin’ great, because it does not allow me to repeat myself, or get lazy and rely on a stagnant plot.
The second and it’s a constant drumbeat in my head, is ‘up the drama’.
The up the drama is really important for me, because it doesn’t allow me to make choices that reduce tension, or conflict, and always reminds me to make the choice that creates the most drama. Maybe not the easiest choice and sometimes the choice that paints me into a corner, but 9 times out of 10, it doesn’t lead me astray.
And even with this in my head, as I look over scenes to send to my critique group I find scenarios where I could still up the drama, choices I’ve made that cop out in some way.
For a first and second draft these two mantras are all I can have in my head except for my characters and dialogue and action.
There just isn’t room for more right now.


Amy Ruttan said...

I know there's loads of info. IT boggles my poor simple mind most days.

Love that quote from JR Ward.

Maureen McGowan said...

It's not possible to think about all the craft stuff while writing. If we did, we'd write dry, boring crap.

I think the time for that stuff is while plotting/planning and while revising.

Sinead M said...

JR Ward rocks my world right now. Amy, have you read her new, world of the brotherhood book? It has some really interesting info on the books and how she wrote them.

Maureen, so right, we should be thinking about that while plotting.. something I have to do more before I start the book.

Amy Ruttan said...

No I haven't, I didn't know there was a book on how she wrote their world.

Going off to Amazon dot ca. LOL.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Are you kidding? Every time I read this blog it hurts my head because I realize I didn't think about 1/2 the things I should have been thinking about when I wrote my WIP.

Now I'm cringing as I think about the agents out there reading it who are no doubt laughing hysterically at the idea I thought this was publishable.

The good news every time you I come here or go to the other writing blogs around I learn something new that I can take with me to the next book.

In 20 or 30 years I imagine I'll be able to really nail a manuscript!


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