Writing about Writing
Saturday, May 03, 2008, 9:46 PM
I read somewhere once that a writer isn't supposed to write about characters who are more intelligent than she is. It makes perfect sense, too, until I consider the characters I want to write about live in a world I know nothing about, who are capable of acts I only dream about, and who go through experiences that would probably break my soul.
So I'm going to have to rely on research, gut instinct and luck. I can't dumb down my characters to my level, it'd never work. And so far, I think I'm getting away with it. I think I'm lucky enough that when I'm not (because certainly there will be those times when someone is going to shake his head and say, Uh, no, it would never happen that way) because I have a number of savvy people in my corner. Actually, I can't wait for that day, because that would mean I have enough of a story to show them for feedback.
Meanwhile, I've promised myself to do a weekly blog about my writing progress. I'm trying not to examine things too closely because for me, the most important thing is to get the bare bones down. I can do Kaige's sanity check afterwards. I'm using The Snowflake Method, only in hyper-drive. I've tried this method before and gave up, just as I did with the Notecard idea. Why I think it's going to work this time is anyone's guess. Maybe it's my time to succeed. All I know is that I have a complete first chapter (which is going to change), one scene, and a loose outline of my setup, two complications, and how the story ends. And now I'm going back to flesh it out a bit more.
I've had to give myself permission to write more than what the first few steps of The Snowflake asks for. I managed to write a 15-word sentence describing my story:
A woman is torn between family and a spy organization's plan to assassinate a madman.It drove me crazy writing it. I understand the meaning behind coming up with the main focus of the story, but it was difficult enough that I feel a good sense of accomplishment. It's not the best sentence, certainly not a blurb worthy of pitching a story, but I'm thrilled I wrote the dang thing anyway.
The next step is to write a five-sentence paragraph that describes the setup, the first major disaster/dilemma, the next disaster, the black moment disaster, and then the ending. I cheated big time here. I have five long sentences, all grammatically correct, even if they are rife with semi-colons, em dashes and commas. But it's just one paragraph. My first sentence is 40 words long, the next one 54. Hey, Randy Ingermanson didn't specify sentence length.
I've also decided to write my weekly and monthly flash fiction pieces with my story characters and situations in mind. I'm just not sure if I should share them here, because what if I end up using them in my story?
What do you think?