What Writers Should Do Second, Not First

When writing a story writers can fall into a trap, one based on what they have read or seen in movies, a trap they  must escape. Let me explain.

A short story I wrote, Flowers for Martha Clemens, was based on something I saw, then I ran away with it into the twilight zone. I saw an old man, perhaps mid 70’s, carrying a shovel  in a cemetery. He walked with purpose among the graves, his clothes not those of a cemetery worker. I stopped to watch the old man, but then thought if I saw what he was going to do it might make sense and I would forget the whole incident. Better to turn away, not see what he was going to do and make up my own story.

The first thought of a writer would be obvious. The old man is going to dig up a grave. We have seen and read about grave robbers, and though the idea of a 70 year old grave robber has a bit of interest, I though it better to ignore my first instinct. Instead of robbing a grave he would dig up the grave for another reason, one more macabre. One reviewer said she liked the story “for the hauntingly melancholy vibe that sucks you into the story.”

Because of her comment I knew I made the right choice, one not based on the obvious, but one going in a new direction. That is why writers need to make unusual choices and not trust your first instinct. Better to play around with choices, bouncing things around in your mind, coming up with a few to choose from is even better.

Creativity is found in challenging your mind, writing outside the page, creating a sense of play, and getting a bit weird if need be. Creativity is challenging yourself to make new things. Writing need not be stolid, it should be fun.

6,466 Words That Anger And Please

Writers have bad days when words come slow, if they come at all. Then there are the good days where words pour out like a Pacific Northwest rain, fast and hard. But what happens when they flow to fast, too hard.

Maybe it was the two pots of tea that stimulated the senses, but 6,466 words is one heck of an output for me. I did not know what was coming next, I was in a zone where characters, situations, dialogue took over, my fingers tapping keys with little thought. I was not in control, some creative force was. I loved it.

But something happened when the words began piling up. Fingers must have got tired and when they did, bad things happened; then my mind got tired and bad things happened.

I noticed after a few thousand words there were more typos. Then they began increasing with two or three in every sentence, then three or four. When you are in a zone this becomes irritating seeing those words underlined in red, the color that infuriates bulls. I saw the red, the cape, and the bull in me took over. My fist pounded the arm of the chair. Then as typos overran my brain, my fist pounded the table behind me.

As I got close to 6,000 words loose objects were thrown with fierce bullheadedness. Soft objects will not do, noise is the only way to ameliorate the anger, the only way assuage the frustration.

I finally came to the end. The tornado was over. FEMA came in to assess the damage. I received counseling and was released from the hospital. In the end I was thrilled with my 6, 446 words.

And now I must go, this post a warm-up to another day of writing. I am not planning on a 6,000 word day. The room is empty except for desk, computer, and chair. I have no idea what will happen. Writing is adventure, writing is risk, writing is dangerous.

No keyboard was injured during the creative flow.

My dangerous e-Books on Amazon you can find here.

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The mysterious disappearance of bloggers

In my previous post I told of how there was a gremlin on my “Loonies in Hollywood” page that show at the top of this site’s header. I am unable to create a space between paragraphs. Every other page I can do that, but this page will not cooperate due to the gremlin residing in there, somewhere.

But there is another gremlin at work as well. Over time I have clicked many blogs to follow. They showed up in my inbox or they were in my e-reader. But I noticed of late that many blogs I received have not been showing up. Yes, I read them. Most of them anyway. And My e-Reader which had dozens of blogs suddenly had only about five.

I have no idea why or how you disappeared. And I miss reading what you had to say. Most of you anyway. I frequently clicked like. And yes I commented when something worthy inspired conversation.

I feel lonely. My digital friends have disappeared. It’s not like I have real ones.

It is true that some tire of blogging, take a break; others are victims of alien abduction (I saw the movie) or who knows what has happened. But I can’t believe so many have quit or been abducted.

Gremlins? Conspiracy? Or some problem with WordPress?

But I do know that I am going to write down on something called paper the blogs that still exist, and add to the new list, on this paper thing, new blogs that I follow and make a log when your last blog was posted and see how long before some of you disappear. I must see if there is a pattern to this madness. It must stop.

I have not abandoned you, I have been cutoff. I will leave no blogger behind.

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