Cookies! (and Newton’s 1st law)

Oh WOW have I been bad. It’s been nearly a month since I graced my (non-existent I’m sure) audience with my presence!

To be fair, I have been trying to adjust to this whole college-living-on-my-own-HEY-THAT’S-A-LOT-OF-READING-what-I-have-an-essay-due-already? dynamic, plus NUTCRACKER HAS STARTED.

Nutcracker is my life.

But Nutcracker is for another post (Tomorrow? Maybe if I alternate nut posts with writing posts I’ll be on here more – I LOVE talking about nut). Right now I want to focus on another idea – momentum.

“Inertia is the death of creativity. You have to keep moving, keep making. So much of making art is muscle memory, keeping your routine…”

I stole this from somewhere on this website, I think, and if I didn’t go look at the website anyway cause it’s cool. I read that and thought YES. That is the crux of the problem, isn’t it? Inertia. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest. (Little mini physics lesson there)

I was doing so well with my whole 750 words thing. I was writing every day. And then, I missed a day because I went out to dinner with some family friends and didn’t get back until 1 in the morning.

The next day, I didn’t write.

I thought, it’s okay that I miss another day, I’ve already broken my streak, I can start back tomorrow.
Guess what happened the next day?

It’s hard to keep doing something, day after day, but it’s even harder to stop and then start again. It’s easy to stop doing something and then keep not doing it. What a vicious cycle…

But today, I’m BREAKING THE CYCLE!

You ask, skeptically, (or maybe you don’t, but for the sake of argument let’s say you do):

“What makes today different from any other day?”

Two reasons. One, I’ve acknowledged my problem and consciously decided to change my pattern of behavior. Two, I’m bribing myself with cookies 🙂

A New Method?

Hi – missed yesterday because of the Senior Project Dinner – basically I graduate next Friday and so the events are coming fast and furious. Not kidding – I’m busy every day next week.

Anyway, I’m due for a post about detective stories. Specifically, why I find the idea of writing a novel which centers on a police investigation to be difficult.

And that would be because you have to know the ending.

I don’t know who the bad guy is. I don’t know how the book will end. I don’t have any clues to sprinkle through because, well, I’ve basically got no clue what’s going on. Anything I try to come up with sounds contrived at best. I’m inclined to try the “just go with it and see what happens” approach, and then go back and add clues and red herrings and whatever.

That all remains to be seen.

I’m actually tempted to write this out of order, too. Part of the reason I’m stuck on the fantasy novel is that I’m writing linearly and I’ve gotten to a scene I don’t particularly want to write. I think I just have to go with what comes to me and put it together later. I mean, my current method isn’t working too well. What have I got to lose?

So We’re Back Here Again

I’ve been neglecting you, I’m sorry – mostly because I haven’t been writing. It’s been a rough couple of weeks. Who knew that so much free time could be so busy?

Now I’m on a deadline – 5 stories by Thursday. I’ll keep you guys updated.

Snow!!

Hey guys…I doubt any of you are even still reading this, it’s been so long. But I am glad to report that I have submitted all my college applications, and so between that and the fact that I’m kind of snowed in to the house here I can turn my attention back to the novel! Regular (hopefully) status updates and perhaps excerpts will resume.

Thank you, if you’re still here, and Merry Christmas!

I Apologize

I can only focus on so much at one time…

This weekend is the designated College App Writing weekend. I will be working nonstop around rehearsals to get everything I possibly can done including a photography portfolio and arts supplement DVD, so there will likely not be new posts for a little while. Sorry.

In other news, it’s almost November!!

Too Predictable?

I went on a little bit of a TV binge Friday. I didn’t have school so basically I woke up at ten, watched TV for five hours, and went to ballet. Mostly I caught myself up on Fringe, which is a fabulous show although if you’re not a sci fi person it’s probably not going to be your favorite.

Anyway, I was watching Fringe. Mind you, this show requires a lot of suspension of disbelief. It gets its name from “fringe science“, so…you get the idea (in case you don’t, click on the link). The point is that even with a show that’s totally weird, I could predict half the plot points. Oh, nothing major, nothing that would ruin the show. Little things. For instance, in one episode there’s this box which emits ultrasonic waves and fries your brain. In the opening scene we see it frying all these people’s brains but this one guy, totally unaffected, closes it up and walks away with it. The FBI agents are all confused as to how someone could have done that. I immediately think “he’s deaf”. They puzzle some more. Eventually they find the guy and it turns out he is deaf, but something so obvious to me totally baffled these characters.

The point is, and I do have a point, is that this got me thinking. Where is the line between familiarity and predictability? We like reading about similar plot lines: quests, guy meets girl or vice versa, murder investigation, some combination of the above, some combination of the above involving vampires…etc. But eventually, you know exactly what’s going to happen and there’s suddenly no point in reading the book.

On the other hand, if something is all twists then, first of all, the reader gets lost (and gets a headache), and second of all the twist starts to lose their impact. In order to surprise someone you have to lull them into a false sense of security first. When the rules are out the window from the beginning, the reader stops caring.

As a writer, you have to balance familiar plot and character tropes with enough twists to keep the story fresh and exciting. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.