Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

Write, goddamnit!

I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.

Peter De Vries

Considering that today is Friday, you can say that I am two weeks into the Inferno writing course. And I am still not sure of what is going on. I have to say I am a tadbit on the disappointed side. On some ways I feel substandard. I haven’t read many of the shiny, deep, cool novels mentioned. I don’t know the buzz words, I haven’t read tonnes of how-to-write manuals ( I did get How Novels Work by J. Mullan, which is the course workbook, I’ll review it in the future for your reading pleasure).

Anyway, I digress. I was saying that I haven’t read the manuals nor know the buzzwords. I don’t devour pages on how or what I should be doing, and how. I… am apparently someone strange who… writes. I don’t have to force myself to write, nor need to set a deadline to write, nor need to blackmail myself into writing. I just write.

I am not saying that style manuals and how to are wrong, I am not defending that they should not exist. I wonder, does a manual show you how to write? Like… can you learn how to drive from a manual? Without actually haven’t been behind the wheel at all, ever?

If you want to write, write. Sit down in front of your computer / paper / notebook / whatever and write. Don’t read about how others write. Or do read about how others write, if you like, but write something yourself. (Please note: Not saying that all my classmates are like that, there are good people who put a lot of effort into writing, whether I share their views on life or not).

In my unpermissioned [note] opinion in my little corner of the Internet.

*Deep breath*. Rant over.

On a different topic, I’ve gone through with the 500-word experiment through April, due to a challenge and bad time prediction on my part. Tomorrow is day #100. The cumulative wordcount would reach 50,000 words if not for… the fact that it reaches 93,825.

I’ve used the time and the words to freewrite, be silly, write stuff that makes no sense, backgrounds for secondary characters with no libido and… I find myself facing a dilemma now. Go on with the 500 words? I know that if I extend it for too long I’ll just eventually relax it and fail more than stop it.

Today, however, someone has talked me into this sci-fi / fantasy / dark fantasy contest idea, and I know that I can’t write sci-fi to save my life, I’m too much of a Newtonian physicist for that (urgh, it hurts even thinking about it), but I can do fantasy, and I can do dark.

So try this with the 500-word rhythm or not… that is the question. Opinions, anyone?

Note: This is a reference to the feedback method that we need to use in the course, where we need to ask for permission before offering any kind of opinion. I’ll tell you about it in detail some other time. [back]


6 responses to “Write, goddamnit!

  1. Denise April 28, 2012 at 00:28

    Could you talk to me about the reasons why you feel you need to stop the 500 words challenge eventually?
    The rest is un-permissioned opinion *gasp*: You are a bit of a hypocrat in this, you read more how to books on writing than anybody else I know. Your literature list can prove that. And you do visit the online pages, and have a lot of the lingo down, too, imo. But I agree, reading about writing does not make you a write. I guess best is a healthy mix of both, where you apply what you have learned if (and only if) it clicks for you.

    I personally think you should continue on the 500 and be thankful for the awesome person to have introduced you to the opportunity of another contest! It challenges your usual writing genre and thus exposes you to new ideas. And for making your brain hurt you surely claim to enjoy my writing a lot.

    • Sakaki Delijah April 28, 2012 at 08:00

      My point is not that one should not read about writing, my point is that it is not enough. You need to write on top of it, or it goes wasted. How-tos are fun at times but cannot substitute the act of writing, that’s all I am trying to say.

      Re: the 500 words – you know that it does not become a habit, so at points it is tiring. Without a good drive is not fun. It can not go on forever too and better quit while you’re ahead?

      Also what hurts is calling myself a newtonian physicist, not sci-fi writing in general. And I already have Retriever and V#14 as “outside my usual genre”.

      • Denise April 29, 2012 at 00:15

        I still seem to be oblivious to the reason why you cannot go on forever. Yes it is tiresome and not fun, but it is a good exercise and it gets serious wordcounts done.

        Both Retriever and V#14 play in the same general genre as the Shiki though. It is all crime just told from differing angles.