Tag Archives: writing process

Writer’s Choice: Revealed vs. Uncovered Works

Introduction
“Sometimes a work is revealed and other times it is uncovered.” I wrote that in the Introduction of Missed Landing. But did not go into any explanation on what that meant. That is remedied here.

Revealed Works
Through dreams, ideas that pop suddenly into your head out of nowhere, or by the grace of your benevolent muse, a story begins. Time is spent writing down and expanding the epiphany. So the writing process for this is much more of following a quest or living a dream. Writing these types of works are generally very quick. Examples of this in my works are Killing Thoreau and Ghosts vs. Robots. Both started with a brainstorm and were fairly fast to write.

Uncovered Works
Other works are like a block of marble. You have to work and keep changing until the beauty inside is revealed. These works can be much harder to write especially is using a factory rather than a craft approach. But if completed can be more satisfactory than a revealed work. Personal examples include Saving Eddie and Missed Landing. Both went through multiple iterations until a framework was discovered and it just felt very right. This process included extensive editing, constant deliberations, various explorations, and much patience.

Whatever writing approach that you use, have fun with it. And enjoy the rare opportunity of expressing an interesting thought onto the digital page.

How Writing with Patience Yields Rich Fruit and an Accidental Book!

Introduction

It has been several months since I have produced a blog. I was getting Missed Landing out the door, and started on what will be the second edition of Simply Business/IT and that is when I got into deep trouble.

The Trap of a Scarcity Viewpoint

I thought it would be nice to add a new short story about business leadership and pirating, It was to be called Command & Control. Write it in 2-3 weeks and all would be good. But the writing did not yield itself to a timely completion. A first draft from one character’s viewpoint was initiated. Then a second draft was rewritten from another character’s worldview. Things were looking dire. The self-imposed deadline was not going to be met. And there was much more still to write in this story.

The Trap of Impatience

So due to an imaginary deadline and pre-conceived notions of what this story should be like, an impatient mind might think they were in trouble and scrap the work completely. That is what would be the likely outcome for some writers. But I took a different approach and came from a viewpoint of abundance and patience. I decided to split the two efforts:

  1. Complete the editing of Simply Business/IT without the story. This should be published in a few weeks.
  2. Take as much time as needed to write Command and Control. By doing so, I decided to transform the story into a book, and did a third rewrite with a new opening and making each of the previous rewrites into separate chapters. It has been going swimmingly ever since. And an accidental book came forth.

So the Lessons Learned are:

  1. You never really know what journey a work will take you on.
  2. Patience and dropping of pre-conceived notions on outcome or schedule will yield better and stronger results. Just write and write some more without expectations.

What a great way to start 2016. Wishing you nothing but success on your writing journeys!

The Mother of all Writing Crises: Disruptive Fiction

Introduction

Recently, I rode on Amtrak recreating Edgar Allan Poe’s last trip northward. (As covered in Saving Eddie.) Amtrak has a Writer’s Residency. However, I like writing when the mood strikes without conditions.

As discussed earlier, I enjoy using a steno pad when writing in the air or traveling by rail, This time was no exception. What came forth was an over a four thousand word work called tentatively Waverly. The title is a nod to Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly novels which includes Ivanhoe.

Two Types of Disruptive Fiction

This new story became a case of disruptive fiction of which there are two kinds.

The first type is a work that is so unique that it immediately catches your attention. Q by the Wu Ming Writers’ Collective is one possible example.

But the more interesting area is fiction that disrupts your writing schedule.

Questions Concerning Disruptive Fiction

The following are some of the questions that Waverly brought to the surface and their resolution to date:

  1. What do I do with it? It is too short to be part of a book. I don’t have a new short story collection planned to place it. It could easily grow into a series of related stories. (Which would be a first for me.) So right now it is my experiments folder. There is a strong possibility that it is never released.
  2. Do I want to publish this now? There is too much that I am already working on such as finishing up Missed Landing and second edition updates to Simply Business/IT and Transitions 1.  (Each with one new story.) So the earliest that this would be published is 2016.
  3. How do I classify it? Is it a simple story, a political fable, a fictionalized guidebook for the ruling elite, science fiction, or something else? Again, I am not sure yet. With rewrites, it could be expanded and go into many different directions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, even if you think things are settled with your writing schedule, ideas may unexpectedly spring forth that may need exploring. Sometimes I put things on the side and other times I switch and make this a primary focus. The latter path includes Saving Eddie, Killing Thoreau, Ghosts vs. Robots, and now Missed Landing.

But that is my story and I am sticking to it. Which will YOU choose when a creative idea wants to disrupt your writing life?

5 Ways your Children Can Help you Become a Better Writer.

Introduction
Though the many eons of the written word, there are many examples of authors writing stories for children they knew. This often included their own children and relatives. The world is indebted with some great literature as a result.

But there is a question that ends up as part of my “mental traffic” from time to time. That is does being a parent help make you a better writer? If so, is this is still true if you do not write children’s stories?

Based on my experience, I would say an emphatic YES!

Five Ways How Children Positively Impact your Writing.

Some of the reasons for saying this include the following.

1.You have a ready test audience. Reading stories out loud is a tremendous laboratory. Children’s reactions will let you know if a story is on target on not. Obviously, don’t inflict on them the first drafts , very adult stories, and other faux pas or they may never forgive you.

2. They want to hear new and some old stories. This is a great opportunity to push the creative juices to the fullest. It may initiate a chain of brainstorms that may result in something completely different.

3. You have to explain things simply and clearly. This means use of examples, humor, strong mental images, and more. Explaining things in many different ways helped tremendously in thinking how to describe a scene to my reader.

4. They can help characters come alive. Children are great in exploring situations in stories. Asking questions such as What if this character did … They also have a strong sense whether words spoken are true to a character or not.

5. You can determine quickly the needed images to create for a work. The scenes that get the greatest reaction likely need an illustration to go with the text.

All of the above helped in putting down in writing an always changing special bedtime story/meditation called “The Floating Bed” that is part of In Small Doses 2. It was a culmination of multiple night time renditions each a little longer and a little more detailed.

I would be interested I hearing how your “little reviewer(s)” helped your writing.