Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Learning, importance of.

Mein gott, he talks about writing for the first time in a very long time!

Yes, he does.

I have, for the past couple of weeks, been writing the first batch of episodes that will make up a serial story (I am loathe to use the word 'novel,' because it's going to be as long as three or four novels, at this rate). This is the first time I've written anything seriously and continuously in serial form in five years, closer to six.

What that means is, mostly at first, you're writing the first episode very delicately, because you're scared that whatever you were able to do before, you can't do any longer. Mostly, what I was painfully aware of during those first tricky few pages was that I am now a very different (and, I like to think, better) writer than I was six years ago. Of course that's a good thing, but it has occurred to me that it was easier to write serials six years ago, when there were very few complicated thoughts about writing in my head.

The nice thing about serials is, you have a limited amount of room for self-doubt and worry, not because there isn't space in your head, but because there isn't space in your schedule. If you're racing deadlines -- or, more importantly, trying not to let your audience down -- then at some point you have to just knuckle down and get on with it.

I've written close to sixty thousand words in two weeks. I'm really proud of that. I'm prouder still of what I've learned from it.

The thing that's important, and condusive, toward fast writing is first and foremost, that you do not try to make friends with what you're writing. What I've learned is that it's less important for me to personally be excited, or even interested, in sitting down and working on the story. The important bit is to be able to sit down in cold blood or not and put words on the page that I believe are good words, that are interesting and enjoyable. Not that I enjoy them. That someone else might.

It's important that you just get on with it. I'm probably repeating myself, and forgive me if I am, but I'm having a harder time properly articulating what I've figured out than I thought I would.

It'll be three in the morning and I'll be dead tired and absolutely not want to write, but I write anyway. Once I have the storyline in my head, I just write it down. It leaves emotional connections to the writing out of the picture, andI like that.

It's not writing in cold blood. It's not writing in the heat of passion, either. It's just sitting down, and it's just writing. I think "Just" writing is more important than anything else. I really do.

You'll pardon me if that's the extent of my post tonight. I still have a fair bit of "just" writing to do, and I intend to make that "just" deadline of mine. So I'm off to burn the midnight wossname.

My next post, we shall discuss and think about the wonderful world of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and the First Amendment Project, and I shall tell you horrible things that will make you want to go support both organizations, and then I shall love you forever.

(www.cbldf.org - Why not go have a look?)

Good night. Take care.


Pete said...

I was of two minds about whether to post what I'd learned in my serial, or to talk about the CBLDF and FAP. I went with the learning-things-from-serials, and now find that many of the things I think I've learned are better articulated versions of things already known, or things that shy away from being put into words.

ArsGeek said...

"that you do not try to make friends with what you're writing."

That, right there goes to the heart of one of my anti-muses. I think my current problem stems from this - I'm trying to write something in a friendly, happy manner.

I just need to sit my ass down and start typing though.

Great post.