Abe Table’s seventh story, which is beginning now, has baffled me. The process is what has been so puzzling. I had ideas in the Fall about this 7th story. I laid them out (written on post it notes and spread over the floor). I moved them around and tried to arrange them along a story skeleton. I walked and thought about them. I wrote in journals about them. I discussed them.
But the writing did not come. I was unwilling to start since I wanted to have the story boarded and outlined by the time I began to write and I did not have a final outline.
Then, as is usual for me, the inevitable happened one morning: a scene to start the story showed up in my mind’s eye. Not the scene I had imagined either. It began with dialog about something completely unrelated and off my radar for the story.
And it led right where I wanted for the opening scene. A second writing session had a healthy draft of the scene done. Now, it is opening myriad possibilities, some of which fit the original plan and ideas.
Will it land where I was heading originally? Don’t know.
What I do know is this:
1. The writing process requires patience and thought – Both of those are vital to incubating a story.
2. When a story “opens up,” it may be one of the most thrilling experiences – I wouldn’t trade it. Nor would I trade all the hours writing in my journals and wondering if I can think of the proper flow to make a compelling story.
3. When I’m lost about how to proceed with the big picture, the outline of the whole story, I find joy and even direction in creating a scene – Even if it ends up not being a scene I use, it helps to step into that world and live there a bit.
What have you learned from your writing process?
You should get over to Writing Tip #8 right away if you are writing anything for school. Hurry. Get over there and see if it won’t help some. Go to “I Hate Writing – Help!” at the top of the page or visit the page from here. By the way, there are lots of good places to find help with writing even if you don’t like it. I’ll share some of those soon, so check back.
And don’t forget Abe Table and The Replacements. The story is coming soon.
I just posted Writing Tip #7 over on the “I hate writing – help!” page. Get over there and check it out. Enjoy!
Jump over to the “I hate writing – Help!” page to see the latest writing tip (#6) about putting ideas together. It may just give you a little summer boost and accidentally (not “maliciously” like Gru says) trick you into having fun while writing.
While I’m thinking about it, Avi, one of my favorite authors, left some great advice today on his blog (which I highly recommend) about getting ideas for writing. Check it out here.
Keep your eyes peeled: the next Abe Table adventure will arrive soon. I am working through the outline right now on a crazy set of misunderstandings that will lead Abe to some wrong conclusions, as usual. In Abe Table and The Amazing Dream Journal, Abe believes that he is beginning to control his dreams. When he and Liz and Ray see a hearse with a wild looking driver from his dreams and a girl fleeing on horseback, he’s not sure if he wants to dream any more, much less try to control his dreams. When they both show up at his school he reaches his wit’s end; he doesn’t know what to do or what will be next.
Look for the story. I’ll have a release date countdown as soon as the outline is complete. In the meantime, watch for some new writing tips this week. Take some time this summer to create stories of your own! Start with some fun ideas, some crazy ideas, and let them build. I’ll show you how in the next “I hate writing – Help!” tips.
I just put Writing Tip #4 up in the “I Hate Writing – Help!” section. It includes a bit about that odd and uncomfortable word: poetry. But it may be worth checking out! Get over there and look for yourself. I even include a link to a poem.
I Hate Writing – Help!
Tip #3: Try “The Writing Fix” random plots generator – It gives you 3 random ideas to use in the form of a setting, a character and a conflict. It is fast, sometimes funny, and fun! Check it out here.
Don’t forget that all the writing tips are stored on the “I hate writing – Help!” page.