Tuesday, January 02, 2007

how did I write that?

yesterday, as we're driving off to the store to pick up a few things, the DH says to me "why don't you see if there is some place that you could submit a short story"

hmmmmm, well, uuuuhhhhh .... here's the issue my friends: when I was in high school (yes, low, nearly 40 years ago) I wrote short stories, and plays and poetry and newspaper articles. Thing is, I just wrote whatever was floating around in my head (or the assigned topic in the case of a newspaper article). I never took a class then, or in college, that gave me any really idea of how to create a believable character, or structure a plot, or whatever.....I just "did it"

so, do I still have a story or two to write? well, maybe, but I have no idea anymore how to start.

Can I blog? Well, yes, it appears so, since I have 3 of these running and I seem to be able to write a recipe and a few paragraphs about its source, or keep up a running commentary on the other art work I'm creating, but I don't seem to have the faintest idea of how to start a story.

is it possible to write a story without knowing at the beginning how it will end? how is it that the idea for that civil war era novel is still floating around, but I have no clue how to start (ok, I have done a brief character description for ONE character, but I don't seem to know those other people)

and so I'm puzzling about this....how is it you can "forget" how to do this, or was it simply that when I was 17 I didn't even think about the structure, I read a lot and I wrote a lot......

having read several of Julia Cameron's books, I know that if you're going to write, you have to do it every day, and I'm managing to do that by blogging (I don't miss a lot of days), but that is not giving me any real direction....NUTS!

hmmmmmm, perhaps having some direction is the problem......

and so I consider this rambling a sort of "asking the higher power" as Cameron puts it, and thinking that perhaps someone in blogland will run across this and drop me an idea or two.....


Marty: said...

I think you have to write to discover what you're going to write.
My husband would disagree. He is an historian and has written 75 books. His method is to research, name his chapters, divide his research into the various chapters, name the book, and then write it. I edit all his manuscripts and he is a very good writer. However I can't write that way at all! It seems too studied.
I have to just start writing and see what happens. If you can't think of a beginning yet, start with the middle. Get to know your characters as you write about them, and edit out the inconsistencies later. A writer is someone who writes. You qualify! Good luck!

Bev said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement Marty. You are probably right, its time to stop being afraid and just start putting words on paper.

mmmm, 75 books!? Maybe I've even read one of them!!