My Twitter update last night pretty much said it all:
“@AcdntlPoet… pushed through a hard fought 1658 words in an hour and a half. Today felt like blood from a stone, but the words still came.”
I was exhausted, physically and emotionally from the long day of work that was behind me. Because of that, I fear the 1658 words that came out last night will end up on the cutting room floor at the beginning of December when I start editing. To this point I haven’t read ANYTHING I have written, but I have the sense that one of my old problems and criticisms from my creative writing classes has reared its head again: lack of concrete imagery. As I pushed through last night, working to attain a 1600 word evening, I knew as I was writing that I was missing that solid item. What ended up coming out was just more esoteric internal babble surrounding the character, not describing or showing, but platitudes and clichés.
So, tonight and into tomorrow, the focus is concrete imagery. Still need to build out the characters more, and I have the sense that I am on the edge of some surprise to me, but it’s not quite attainable with what I have yet. I’ll be working to 1600+ words tonight again, and have the day off tomorrow, which I am thinking I’ll use to play catch-up from the beginning of the month and perhaps over achieve for the days later this month when I know I won’t be able to put any words down at all.
I’m also finding that fiction is not one of my strong points. The act of creating something from thin air is daunting, and what I can muster seems only thinly veiled from real life. I find writing about reality much easier to accomplish. I find I work best when a definitive structure is present. With fiction, it seems to me, I have no map to guide me on the way, leaving the journey a rambling mess of a path, at the end of which I find I haven’t gone nearly as far as I had hoped I would, and didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary or exceptional.
Not surprisingly, I have the same problem when I go out to ride my motorcycle; without a destination chosen, my journey is stalled at the beginning not knowing whether to turn left, right, or continue ahead. Some of my best rides were all based around particular destinations, providing that structure to work within and find the most enjoyable way to get there. Not knowing what to write about is leaving me in that same space currently. I fear I will make three right turns and end up finding my journey was a short circle leading me back home.
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