This is my light fiction piece that I’m writing to try to get back into the habit of writing something at all. Since it won’t be a “ serious” thing that I intend to publish, I thought I’d share.
(Did you miss reading parts one through seven?)
It was dark out still when she woke, with no sounds of anyone else in the cottage being awake. During her bath the night before, she’d had the chance to really think about her situation. It seemed farfetched, even though she lived it. Somehow be magically transported from her world to this one, only to be snapped up in transit to “safety,” then to follow a strange man through a forest to a city, only to abandon that city into a forest again. The men she was with were both an unknown, and not particularly friendly. She had worked herself into exhaustion chopping wood that didn’t need to be chopped, with poor tools and next to no lighting. All of that work and pain had only resulted in being laughed at for trying. They thought she was gullible for trying.
Her cheeks heated at the memory. The dinner she’d been left was the remains of some fish and vegetables that they had eaten shortly after their arrival. It was cold and rubbery by the time she got to it. Granted she had taken a long bath, but they hadn’t even mentioned she had food waiting for her.
Then there was the wizard. He seemed nice enough, almost friendly, but something about him didn’t sit right. Why was he organizing a war against a faceless Fae Queen. She had only his word about how things were run here. What if she was on the wrong side? Continue reading
In an ironic twist, for someone who lives by lists and figuring things out ahead of time, planning my writing is supremely hard. Even in college, writing outlines for essays was a challenge. In the end, I was good at writing papers, even long ones, but that initial plan always felt like the death of me.
I waver because I don’t want to take away any of the organic ideas as they occur during the writing. At the same time, I generally can’t just sit down to a blank screen and make something up out of nothing. Ideas for me bubble up out of the subconscious like, well, bubbles. A blip here and there that hits the top and bursts. For my big project, I carried a notebook around in my purse to jot down notes. Then from those notes, I made an outline, wrote a first draft, read it and made more notes, before spending about a month working on a new outline.
My husband and I went bowling today, and I did better than I have before. I didn’t beat my best score (by one point), but I had a higher average score. Usually, I bowl in the high 40s to low 50s for two games, and maybe I’ll break into the lower 60s for the third. Today I was in the low 70s. I had a strike, and a spare (which would have been a strike if I didn’t throw a gutter ball first )
The difference? I wasn’t running through the long list of steps my husband keeps trying to help me with. When he explains it, it does make sense, but it also seems overly complicated There’s just so much to focus on, that I inevitably forget something vital. Today, on the way to the bowling alley I decided I was just going to ignore all of that and do what I wanted to do. By the end of the day when we go, my husband has had enough trying to coach me into doing things right. By the end of the day, every time, is where I get my best score.
Maybe he knew my decision without my saying anything, because he didn’t try to coach today and I did much better than my average. As much as he helps, trying to remember everything he’s telling me is a distraction.
I think writing is the same way. I like to read helpful articles on the proper way to plot, or to develop a character, but in the end trying to remember all the rules gets in the way of the creativity. Sometimes, it’s better just to ignore the rules and trust that you know what you’re doing on some level. Go with it, and see what happens.