Friday, June 09, 2006

Insight. Rationalization... Procrastination

Not done yet. After writing almost 500 words (and discarding perhaps more) for my main blog, I’ve got more to write. What I need to write, however, is what I am avoiding by writing this. And, now that I think about it, I was probably doing the same when I wrote that other piece. Indeed, I am substituting the kind of writing I know so well for the kind that is still foreign to me: Fiction.

My new blog, “This is Fiction,” is both a blessing and a curse – as much pain as it is pleasure. It represents risk but takes no responsibility. I am venturing into as yet uncharted territory but have no requirement to do so – no external pressure to do it at all, let alone to do it “right.” Furthermore, fiction is not dependant on getting the facts straight. Although the story in question relies heavily on actual experience, it is not dictated by it.

There is no structure, no rules and no rigidity whatsoever. I am allowing myself the freedom to go wherever I want – whatever direction “it” chooses to take. The pressure is self-imposed and therefore can be self-relieved. I could, if I so desired, just throw in the towel, or let it sit and die. I could, but I can’t. It has become a part of me – the motivation has existed long before the first word was ever written. Alas, it’s been residing in the back of my mind for well over five years, watching, waiting patiently for the opportunity to be told.

I believe it was Michelangelo that refered to his sculpting not as creating, but uncovering. The form is already in the marble; he just chipped away the excess. Writing for me is similar; I am not so much creating the story, just uncovering it. Michelangelo could “see” the figure in a solid block of marble. By altering the block, he enabled others to see what he saw. My hope is to be able to do the same.

I believe that in certain forms of writing, such as first-person introspection, I am able to accomplish this goal with regularity. It’s relatively easy for me. There are not, anymore, many wasted words. Usually I can take a fleeting thought and mold it into a complex idea just by writing. It is a sort of literary long division – I don’t or can’t do it in my head. Metaphors come to me as the words flow, descriptors I may have never used myself all of a sudden become the perfect placeholder.

Fiction is different and I have not worked out all the nuances that make that so. Sure, there is the quick and easy reasoning – I’m an analytical person trying to operate in an abstract world – but there is much more to it than that. I am using a non-fictional approach to writing fiction but it feels lacking. It is, in fact, lacking. There is necessarily a need to step out of the logic box to make it work. And I have necessarily done so – but I don’t like it. It is uncomfortable and I know it is a discomfort that is bred of unfamiliarity. There is only one way to eliminate this fear, for that is what it is: Practice.

Maybe later!


Jessica said...

I love to write fiction, although I'm better at non-fiction! Guess I should practice.

michelle said...

I love your writing, keep it up. I am betting this is therapy for you.

Lacey said...

My friends and I started, for a few months, a writing club: someone gave us a prompt, and we all crapped out a story and shared it, no matter how sure we were that the story would suck.

It gave us the pressure we needed to write. I really miss it... because without it... I am only writing character backgrounds or in-game summaries. Roleplaying is a fantastic world, but it's not a world of my own making.

Ultimately, your world is going to die unless you get it down on paper (ahem, cyberspace). Not writing is worse than deleting... because the words never get written in the first place.

I sure hope we don't miss anything from your world. :)


Awareness said...

All knew challenges/risks makes one "wobbly" at first, don't you think?

There's a sense of security we attain in our work, in our daily life etc but once we have reached that "security summit" so to speak and have stayed there for a while, we get this twinge...this desire to seek out a new challenging hill to climb. All of a sudden the challenge begins, the security feeling has been yanked away, and we are left feeling a bit vulnerable and yet motivated..........adrenaline trickles back.

On deleting.............

Like you, first person writing comes easy for me. The fictional stuff mixed with non-fiction is very challenging. Where I find the most vulnerability with respect to writing is when I am attempting to sculpt a poem.

Maybe we all have a bit of "the explorer" in us. Gee.........I feel a blog idea germinating while I write this......hmmmmmmmmm.....

One of the best jobs I had starting out in the workworld was writing copy at a radio station. It taught me how to edit and delete without feeling that of losing a word "friend." Having stated that, when writing takes all of my focus to eliminate/edit a word once it has become part of a line in a poem. Weird.

"Lacey" is right on.........not writing is way worse!

Enjoy your day!


Snaggle Tooth said...

I should practice writing more fiction that doesn't get deleted!
Sorry mine's not online as WIP (work in progress)-
But I learned from Steven King's "On Writing" n do believe in two drafts. One with the door closed (no scrutiny, side-track unedited all you want) Then again with the door open: sit on it minimum 24 hours, then edit away, (what would the editor say?) Decide what moves the plot, what bogs it down, what can go, the essential which must stay-
Save the delete n long versions in case they want 500 more words or less suddenly...
I love creative writing... I have a heck of an imagination! Looks like you do too. Step right into that tale as the characters, be brave...

Steve said...

This is just my opinion.

Fiction doesn't have to be "falseness." At heart, it can be the truth about our very own untruth.

It is expression... and in expression, there is always an "included middle" path one can walk... the "goodness" of which is not the resemblance or adherence to the "Truth," but the enlivening of a "sense" (i.e., "intelligibility, direction, and point of view") which forms the basis of perspective.

Here is some interesting quotes to consider... or not consider...

"Poetry comes more out of the self; fiction is the self observing."

- Ruth Stone, poet

"The truth, on the page, need not have been lived. It is, instead, all that can be envisioned."

- Louise Glück,
US Poet Laureate 2003-2004