Category Archive for: "writer’s sketchbook"
There’s a great drawing by Picasso that I don’t remember the name of, but it’s a nude. Four strokes of a pencil, very simple lines, and there it is: a naked butt. That’s how I like to do description.
Only, my readers keep telling me they want more. In writing terms, it’s call white room syndrome. It’s no coincidence that terms that describe writing come straight out of psychiatry. Yet I know, when I’m reading, if the description goes on for more than a medium-long sentence, I start skipping ahead. Maybe it’s idiosyncratic.
At one time double, triple and quadruple negatives were allowed. And the more negatives you used, the more negative your message was. It makes sense to me.
One of the cures for writer’s block is writing about it. Or at least it was for me. I also sent out a few e-mails right after blogging two weeks ago. All of that seems to have loosened up the pipes. Or it’s just totally idiosyncratic. Since most of me and what I do is idiosyncratic, we’ll go with that.
The Duck Duck Go search engine is not only absolutely without peer, it’s also my new dictionary. When a word doesn’t look right, I cut and paste it in the search box. In nanoseconds I get this polite little question in blue that says: Did you mean xxxx? Where xxxx is the word I’d been trying to spell but was so far off. I swear I couldn’t hit Godzilla in a fat suit for spelling.
I’m stuck in a horrid writer’s block. I’ve read all this advice about how you keep the internal filters turned off and don’t let the voices tell you how truly bad your shit of a novel is. Only, I don’t get that far. I don’t want to sit down and write. It fills me with an abject horror just thinking of opening the word processor. Even this blog is ten days late by my internally imposed deadline. Crap. Fluids. Vomit.
I’ve been cleaning. Both my wife and the cat are avoiding me. Probably they think they’re clean enough.
that’s the new devotion to outlines is boring and painful. The neurosis has to extend to characters, also. If you want to know why, I’ll do it at a later date or you can ask me: Why?
The new process includes a character outline that details things like background, motivation, what they value, how they speak and their favorite gestures. That’s one set of pages. The other set of pages is the short story that needs revision. And that’s the problem.
Boring and painful: I look at my character outline, firmly get them into my working thoughts, and start changing the story based on that. In about five minutes, I realize I’ve fallen back into my old habit of how to revise. I stop. I say shit. I go back to firmly indenting the character outline in my head and I go back to revising, only a few lines further down into this looong story. Repeat indefinitely.