Sunday, March 21, 2010

Looking For Some Inspiration

I probably should have titled this Avoidance Behavior because that is actually what I am doing. Things are flowing quite nicely with the W.I.P. but I'm on a difficult scene that I want to be perfect so what am I doing? Posting on my blog. Running away from the scene that I am right in the middle of. I don't ever back down from a fight so why am I hiding from this scene? It's not confrontational. The scene is actually waiting there patiently for me in Chapter 6. "Ye just finish up what yer doin' and I'll be right here waitin' on ye, luv." Apparently, my scene speaks in a cool accent.

Anyways, I've been avoiding the thing all day. It started with a hike this morning. My friend Mel and I took Lily and Bubba (her dog and Lily's boyfriend) on a nice cardio hike. It was only about an hour. I returned home somewhat tired and putzed around on the computer for a few hours before settling in for a nap. Woke up from the nap and I can't honestly tell you where the rest of the afternoon went. It's not that I've lost interest in my story. On the contrary, it's all I think about most of the time. When I'm away from it, I can't wait to get back to it. I love, love, love it. But I think I love it too much. It's like my cherished child. That firstborn baby. No instruction manuel on how to raise it and I'm terribly afraid of messing it up with any actions. If I leave the scene the way it is, I can't screw it up. I can't type words that fall far short of what I have in my head. BUT I also can't write it to perfection. Or even write it at all. I am having to remind myself throughout this process that this is just a rough draft, a zero draft, an exploring of my story. So no more avoiding. Unlike words that are spoken, words that we type in stories can always be taken back. They can be changed, rewritten, polished to shine like amethyst.

My aunt and uncle used to make jewelry. They were hippies in the 70s and all about cool things like jewelry making, beading, knitting, etc. Their small house had stones everywhere you turned. I remember them covering the kichen table, the coffee table, the end tables. Sometimes they were just rocks - not cut open yet to see what was inside. Other times, they had been cracked open and amethyst would spill out. Well, not literally. It would appear to be popping out of the rock, though. They had to decide if it was jewelry quality or paperweight quality. Did they cut further until all that was left was the deep purple? Or did they polish away at the stone as it was cut - leaving one side shining purple while the other was still the dull, coarse gray of the original rock. Writing this W.I.P. has been a bit like that, I suppose. Right now I am cracking open the open idea fully to see what it contains inside. There will be a smoothing out process, a getting rid of dull bits. I won't get the finished product if I don't labor through the first, though. On that note, off to type words that need typing in a scene that doesn't have to be perfect just yet.


  1. Hi Jennie! I just wanted to send a note of thanks for the encouragement you sent my way last week on Laini's blog! I love that you're stubborn and that you wouldn't turn your back on a story just because you loathe the thing. ;) I've been brainstorming--at first VERY hestitantly--and I think I see some glimmers of newness I can add to my story that will give it life. And I really like the idea of 'emailing' story bits to younger friends. Fab idea! Thank you again! Jes

  2. I really like this simile for the writing process. I think the March mini-NaNo has forced all of us to just focus on hacking away and finding the core of the story and to resist the urge to polish as we go. Try explaining that to curious housemates who want to know what your novel is about and when you will read it to them though.
    - Sophia.