Accepting the Pants

In the planning phase, I can always see everything so clearly.  I get to know the characters I’m going to write about. I can just see my settings, feel the feelings and ambiences I want to evoke. I can see how my characters will change trough the story, and what major revelations they will have. But then… Then it’s time for the nitty gritty.

Figuring out exactly how all of this happens; the details; everything between the cool bits that will tie everything together. God how I hate it!

This is also the place where I often loose my magic. I can’t figure everything out, so I take a break. When I’m on my break I have fun. I think of other things. I read, listen to or watch other stories. And when I get back to my story… I’ve lost my connection to it and any desire to continue it. I’ll often have a new and shiny idea that I want to write about instead.

This is a pattern for me, more so really than I care to admit. I have a thousand discarded stories. When I find them again, I can’t understand why I didn’t continue writing them. Then I’ll usually try to pick them up again, change a few things around to make it work better. And then… I have to get those details down again, and the cycle continues.

So how do I break it? I could just sit myself down, dedicate a weekend and get those details down. But I think I stumbled upon a solution last summer when I panted my way trough a first draft of a story. Granted, the draft was horrible, almost unusable. But I stuck with it, and now I can’t get that story out of my head. I’ve been churning it around in my head for almost a year now. Not constantly, of course, but regularly. And I think I have found solutions to many of the problems with it.

So, am I a pantser? I have always thought of myself as a planner. I’ve even thought of pantsing as a lazy copout. And here I am. The most successful I’ve ever really been in writing has been by panting.

Perhaps its a matter of hours invested? Time spent in this imaginary world of mine? It has taken a lot of time for me to process this. I’ve reached this conclusion before, but I haven’t really accepted it. But now, almost a year later, perhaps I can get to terms with being a pantser?

Keeping Momentum

When I sit down to write for the first time in a while, everything is slow. I can’t quite figure out what to write, ideas won’t fit together, and I have a hard time expressing what I want to and finding the right words. Its like trying to get out of an armchair after sitting in an awkward position, and you discover (possibly a moment to late) that your legs have fallen asleep. Its uncomfortable at first, and you feel like you’re walking on pins for a moment, but as soon as the blood flow is normal again everything works perfectly.

And that’s the same way with writing, you have to let your creativity flow and keep your momentum. I don’t think you necessarily have to write a ton everyday to keep your momentum, a few words on a story or some plotting might be enough. But you can’t let the flow stop.

For me, these blogposts might be enough writing for one day. At least my fingers got to write on a keyboard, and my thoughts could flow out in the form of words. This is still utilizing the same muscles that I use when I am writing creatively. It’s about keeping momentum, not about blazing ahead at high speed.

Cloudy With a Chance of Brainstorm

I haven’t been the best at posting here lately. It’s not that I haven’t been able to creative lately, it’s the opposite. I’ve been exploring story-ideas, plots and characters. Where I live, mushrooms are popping up overnight right now because of the rain, and ideas have been popping into my head.

On one hand I welcome this: I think exploring new ideas and putting characters, settings and plots together is the most fun in the writing process. It’s so free, and there are no established rules yet. I can also just go after whatever I think is the most fun without focusing so much on the “serious” stuff. I just have to put something together that really makes me want to write and find out more.

On the other hand, it can get a little overwhelming and difficult to focus my mind. There is so much going on that I can’t quite focus on one thing. But really, the good outweigh the bad by a mile.