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.