Some of you may know I’ve struggled to get back into my writing. For like almost four years!!! While my mind continues to drown in words, I’ve not really done a whole lot of getting it out do my head and onto paper/screen. Granted, a few free writing exercises here and there as well as some journaling, but nothing substantial.
Last weekend I attended a creatives conference: screenwriting, poetry, rpg writing, music, film, and novel writing. Oh and podcasting. The weekend was beneficial for me to say the least. I went away with many story ideas, possible money making opportunities, and honed skills. But what about engaging all those skills and that knowledge? I went the whole week after that conference and I didn’t write a thing! Ugh!!!
Friday I was talking with my fourteen year old, who is also a creative soul, about my
fantasy series. The one in which I’ve not touched in so many years. I tried explaining what my block was, however I’ve never been exactly certain of the cause. While listening to me (whine?), she told me this:
“You need to do the chips and dip approach.”
Now before you laugh, let me paraphrase what she’d meant. Basically, she explained that some chips went with certain dips while others were just yuck. She said that I needed to pair the correct characters together.
While I never had an inclination to be the next GRRM, my series had multiple POVs and though at the time I felt it was awesome, something now felt so very wrong. So, I decided to match my chips and dip and spent 17 hours over the course of two days rearranging and editing and playing around with the story. I felt better about it when all was said and done. I also realize that it still needs a whole lot of editing. But I actually spent time writing! And for me, that was huge. Momentous! Humbling, too.
I’ve sorted through it all (well, mostly all) and I’ve come to believe it reads a whole lot better.
I also spoke to my daughter (O wise one) about a story idea that dropped into my lap for a possible NaNoWriMo story but was having a slight plot issue. The premise is very simply put: a high schooler discovers the identity of a serial killer in her home town but she can’t go to the law enforcement because the serial killer knows HER secret. My problem was: what secret could be so grave that she would allow a killer to walk freely among the town and people she knows and cares for? Now, my daughter didn’t supply me with the answer to my character conflict issue but while talking things over with her and her asking a bunch of questions, I was able to pinpoint the answer I was looking for. And when she mentioned the word Frankenstein, not knowing I’d written that word on my story notes, it confirmed my direction was accurate and true to form.
I’m super excited about the days and weeks ahead. I’m definitely giving NaNoWriMo a shot this year. And I’m ecstatic to be back out on the field.