On An Approach to Writing

So, I guess it’s time for another post. I don’t really have anything on my mind at the moment that would make a great blog post, so I guess I’ll just ramble a bit…

So my novel writing isn’t going so great these days. The book I’m working on, which is a retelling of The Frog Prince, is getting itself very bogged down and is honestly hardly working at all. I think I might’ve found a reason for that–the story, unlike the last one I wrote in the world it’s set in, doesn’t have much of a point. The last story (which was a version of Cinderella) had a very simple point, and that was character change. Each character needed to grow, needed to become a new person by the end of the book. It had to happen or there would’ve been no ending. However, with my Frog Prince story, that need for character change is almost not even there. Sure, the characters have their flaws, but those flaws aren’t really impacting the story. They don’t need to change. Change might be nice, but the story doesn’t hinge on it. So it’s being very hard to write, very slow, at times rather boring.

It’s not just that story, though; I’m finding myself dissatisfied with much of my recent writing. Sure, none of it’s as bad as that, but I also don’t feel like it’s really as good as I could be writing, or maybe that it’s not going in quite the direction I want it to go. So, I shall try to take a slightly different approach to my writing. The first step is simple: don’t worry so much about structuring my writing. I feel like I’m at times more concerned with getting in a thousand words in a day, or getting this scene finished, or writing the end of that chapter, than I am with making sure my writing is good. So in that respect I want my approach to be looser. The second step, though, would actually make my approach stricter: I’d focus on good, solid writing, on good prose, on poetic and original descriptions, and all that other stuff that goes into the category of wordsmithing. I would also try to live in my story more; that is, to think about it more, to spend more time with the characters, and to attempt to fully immerse myself in it while writing. I tend to be a bit distractable when I’m writing, and I think that hurts my stories more than I’ve realized to this point. I guess what I want to do is change my approach from a casual, pulled-back approach to a deep, close-in, heavily involved approach. I want to live my stories rather than just observing them. Will I be able to do it? I’m not really sure… wish me luck.

Anyway, there is a glimpse into my writing life. Voila! I might post more about this different approach to writing another time.

~ Jared

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