ast DOG EAR, I told my friend that it isn’t time writers lack, it’s creativity and passion. And she told me in her comment to my piece that while that might be true, she was going to fight to find her creativity.
And that opens an interesting thought. Writers have to make time, this I know. But why should we have to wait for creativity to strike? Perhaps we need to make that, too.
Yeah, she kicked me in the ass.
I sat there looking over her comments – it was 10:30 on a Sunday night. I’d just finished the short story The Powder Monkey and knew I needed to review it.
Okay, so here’s the way I work. I told my wife I was going for a walk to organize some writing – she’s heard this before when I used to do radio scripts and just nodded it off. Put on my shoes and started down the street, organizing my thoughts.
First thing – what’s the structure for my review? What can make this new and different? Well, the book starts on an interesting take, a sailor walking down a country road on his way back to his ship comes across a crying child. Then I thought about the old saw that every story is either about a man coming to town or a man leaving town. Technically this was a bit of both. And that’s good. Now I’ve got my foundation.
The other thing I was thinking about was the kid’s picture in the illustration, how angelic he was. That’s the old standard of tales in those times, children who suffer like saints and think nothing of it, who serve and strive and endure. I’d actually read the same thing in a couple of other books and had picked up this trend. So there was the body of the piece, commenting about this and tying it back to the style of the day.
With this in mind I turned around. I had the structure which is half of what I needed. Now I needed wording and phrasing to hammer the piece to the wall. This should take about the same amount of time to organize and hence this is why I turned around – the goal is for my foot to hit the front porch just as my piece is cooked and ready to serve. If I walk too far then I need to come all the way back and the passion drains out. No, it’s all about timing.
And it worked. I had the wording for the opener and close and a couple of chunks in the middle. Walked right in, sat down in front of the computer and banged it out in about fifteen minutes or so. And while I was writing it, I remember that this was how I used to work when I wrote my pieces for Your Health Choice, a walk, structure, wording, writing. Bang bang bang. That’s how it’s done.
And now that The Powder Monkey is staged to run, I had another piece to write (this one) the following day before work, that of the creative process. And how I got it to work. Thanks, Lynn.
Now, let’s roll up our sleeves and submit three more Indigos to literary agents.