Sunday, May 3, 2009

Am I in her head?

Either I'm obsessing or I've discovered a major failing in my writing. At this juncture, darn it. Why not twenty years ago?

My problem has been, I think, that I am fluent, especially on a computer word processor. Refining the fluency has been my focus for a long time. Getting the sentence to say exactly what I intend and to do so in a fresh manner.

Unfortunately the result is often boring. Sort of pretty but dull.

I was lolloping along today, feeling like I've been spiralling ever closer complete stasis, when two words popped in my head: Narrative Distance.

When I succeed in being in the character's head, the writing is more interesting. Light bulb flashing on! That's being in their head, not describing what it's like in their head. Not spending fifteen years looking for the right words to describe what they're feeling.

Am I on to something? Is this an oh-oh moment? Or is it an oh s--t moment, if you'll pardon the Anglo-Saxon reference?


Sydney said...

I like oh Sh*T personally, lol. I think you're not discovering a major failing but indeed, having a major breakthrough... which sets you on the path to major BLOSSOMING.

What the hell is the point of the passage of time if not to discover stuff like this? It's Artistic Growth (howja like the sound of that one?)

As to why not 20 years ago, you're writing a project right NOW and therefore I see it as quite timely in the present, lol. I know what you meant, but the timing couldn't be more perfect.

I say Aha! And a very big one, one that sounds like it will help you with the stuck-ness I think that you were describing yourself starting to feel.

Cher said...

Oh, yes. The moment an editor or teacher tells us a piece is overwritten is different from the moment when we realize it ourselves. Consider it a normal breakthrough that ALL writers have, glory in it because it's means you're a real writer, and get back to the business of writing.

Bdogs said...

Many thanks, you two. You're right about the stuck-ness, Sydney. I was feeling that my eyes were becoming incapable of moving past page 3. (Of a 320 page draft). Good interpretation and advice!

sizzie said...

I think you opened a new door. I like to still be able to have an epiphany once in a while. : ) I think you have been doing the 'being' over 'describing' all along, but have now put a name to it. Does it help you? I know the first order of a rough draft is to write without editing or thinking of mechanics for just the reason you mention. Thanks for the post.