March 15, 2013 by Kira Lyn Blue

clapboard-snappedWriting is weird.

I mean that the experience itself is bizarre and much more complex than I imagined when I started. I’m a pantser by nature. In other words, I don’t work off an outline. I just open up a doc and start writing and kind of see what happens. I usually have an idea of the bigger plot points going in, I’ve daydreamed the scenes in my head from a zillion different angles while making coffee, brushing my teeth, or before drifting off to sleep at night, but once pen goes to paper (or cursor to screen) my characters have a tendency to take over.

It’s almost like I’m filming an improvised scene for a movie with headstrong actors who have their own ideas about what’s going to happen and could care less about what my plans are. I write a few pages then have to yell “Cut!” and make them shoot it again tweaking the parts that didn’t come out right in the previous take.

Sometimes we make it through a whole chapter and then realize that one of the actors was having a bad day and was out of character, or we missed an important reveal, or someone is screen hogging, or… well, you get the idea. It can be exhausting.

On good days, though, some of the best dialogue or actions just happen. It’s strange because I have no idea where some of this stuff comes from. It’s also fun and exhilarating to see the characters come alive. Which makes it all worthwhile.


5 thoughts on “Cut!

  1. Muneer Huda says:

    Totally feel you on this one. Have you heard of Writing Excuses? It’s an award winning podcast by Brandon Sanderson and some of his friends:

    Don’t worry, this isn’t a cheap attempt at advertising; I have nothing to do with the podcast. I’ve just learned heaps from it and helps keep me motivated when it comes to my fiction 🙂

  2. cptam1947 says:

    I liked this post, but to tell you the truth I have a question. I am writing a book, the chapters are on my blog, and it is out there for the world to see. One of my professors at Columbia College Chicago just told me that doing this, putting my chapters on my blog, counts as a first publication. She also said that publishers would look poorly on this since they would be purchasing second publication rights, or words to that effect. Is she right? Am I shooting myself in the foot by putting my chapters on my blog? Let me know what you think.

    • I honestly don’t know. I am not published yet (kind of have to finish my book first) and while I had considered going the traditional publishing route, I am leaning pretty heavily away from it at this point. So, I have done little research into the ins and outs of traditional publishing. There’s also so much change happening in publishing in general right now, that what might have been true six months ago could be completely different in another six. Honestly, the uproar of it all is what’s making me lean toward self-publishing.

      • cptam1947 says:

        I know how you feel. I have had the likes of Patricia Rosemore, Richard Chwedyk, and E.E. Knight look at my short stories and say that they loved them and wanted more, but the paper publishing community and Ezines have rejected all of them, even when I name drop. So I used my blog, in a manner of speaking, to be seen by someone. The E-Publishing route may be a way to go, if I fail at the brick and mortar end. I like writing, it’s hard, time consuming, and laborious that makes me want to pull my hair out as I am writing and editing, and then brings me absolute joy when I am done. If I follow my current track for ‘The Hitherto Untitled Book’ I will end at nearly 200,000 words. After a rewrite, editing, and a deliberate cut of 20 percent, my goal is to have it down to 150 to 160,000 words. I am going to miss posting the chapters on my blog, though. Well I have rambled and thank you for your input. I have a lot of research to do.
        See you on the high ground.
        Robert Hobson

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