THE QUOTE THAT EXPLAINS WHY I WRITE

If asked what it is I want to accomplish with my writing, I would have to sum it by saying that my goal is to make people feel something.  That being said, I’ve got one quote in particular from author, David Foster Wallace, that says it so much better:

“We all suffer alone in the real world; true empathy’s impossible.  But if a piece of fiction can allow us to imaginatively identify with a character’s pain, we might then also more easily conceive of others identifying with our own.  This is nourishing, redemptive; we become less alone inside.”  (qtd in Charters 1048)

I know that writing is therapeutic for me, almost as much as listening to my favorite songs, with the only difference being that those songs make me feel something, while my writing is my way of putting that feeling into words.  So, I tend to write for my heart and then worry about revising it to suit the audience expectations of my genre.  To do it any other way would render a work that lacks feeling –

 

Works Cited

Charters, Ann. “Appendix Two: The Elements of Fiction.” The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. MA: Bedford/St. Martins. 2015. pp. 1048.

 

 

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OUTLINE OR FLY BY THE OF YOUR PANTS (AKA PANTSER)

You’ve got this amazing story idea.  You think you know your characters inside and out.  So, what happens next?  The age-old battle between developing a story outline versus “winging” it still rages on.  I have to admit that, up until about a year ago, I was what’s known as a “pantser,” meaning that I preferred to just sit down and let the story flow onto the page.  Now, I thought that worked well until I realized something: it really didn’t.  My manuscript is a longer work (80,000-90,000 words), which makes it extremely easy for me to lose track of time.  This is something that I just realized as I was working on revisions.

Why is keeping track of time important, you might ask?  Well, first of all, it can have a huge impact on the development of your setting.  For example, A Gift of Love begins in late October/early November and is set in New York City and Westhampton.  Remember this is crucial to developing a setting and my characters’ actions in order for my story to make sense to the reader.  For example, I wouldn’t want my main characters to decide to go for a swim in the middle of January – if there’s not snow on the ground in NYC that time of year, it’s very cold!  Your goal is to advance your plot through the use of setting, which includes placing your reader into the story in terms of location, weather, and other pertinent details.

How do you keep track of it all?  Because I’m not one who sits down and develops and detailed story outline (although I do have a quick one that helps in preparing a synopsis), I’ve opted to use white-boards, on which I jot down a story timeline.  That way, I’ve can look at what I want to happen when, and prepare the setting, as well as little details of character development such as clothing worn and that type of thing, and weave it together so that it all makes sense.

So, while I’ll most likely never turn into a full-blown outline user, I have definitely learned that some type of tracking is a very useful tool!  I figure that if I can’t even remember what I did yesterday, how am I going to keep track on the daily lives of two or three characters?  The key is to just play around with it until you find what works for you!

Happy Writing, Everyone!!!

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A DAY IN THE LIFE…

I like to think that I’m a writer.  But just what exactly does being a writer entail?  What’s a typical day supposed to consist of?  I guess for those lucky, successful writers, their day consists of, well, writing.  That’s how they make their living.  Then there’s the rest of us, who work hard to squeeze in time for our writing amidst all of our other daily demands.  Some of us work full-time, demanding jobs.  Some of us are in school, capturing every spare moment just to keep up with our assignments.  Regardless of the situation, one thing I can say for certain: you can’t be a writer if you don’t write.  You can talk about being a writer, but unless you carve out time to sit down and actually put words on the page, becoming one of those successful authors we all envy probably won’t be in your future.

So, just how can you fit writing into your day?  I think it’s important to schedule the time and go out of your way to keep that appointment!  I can attest first-hand that that’s not always an easy thing to do.  But like the old saying goes, nothing worthwhile is easy.  Isn’t that the understatement of the year!  So, while I’m certainly not the best at following my own advice, the routine I developed over the course of completing my Master’s degree is one I’ve done a pretty good job of following even now.  I spend a couple of hours each night shut away in my little “writing room,” where I try to write as many words as I can…or, at the very least, I try to write something.  I also use the time on those mornings when I’ve got to go to work early to sit in the dark, coffee in hand, just thinking about the next scene in my manuscript, or how I can revise an existing scene to make it better.  It’s quite nice actually.  I also find myself lost in my manuscript when I head outside for a 4-mile walk.  Just listening to my favorite music usually gets the creative juices flowing!  When all attempts fail, I give myself permission to turn my focus elsewhere to try again later.  But one thing is for sure: I always write something each and every day.

I guess there really isn’t a “typical” day in the life of a writer.  We all approach our craft in different ways.  What works for some won’t for others.  I think what matters most is that we rise up and keep trying.  Don’t quit!  Don’t give up!  By all means, write!

Happy Writing, Everyone!

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UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Hi Everyone!

If you’ve found your way to my site, let me take a moment to say, “Thanks!”  I’m still learning to ins and outs of making the most of my WordPress site, so thanks for bearing with me during this process!  Please check back soon!

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