Friday, June 1, 2007

Just Keep Swimming


So, today I didn't feel like writing. It happens. And I especially didn't want to start out with my "this is a story about" line. I mean, I've already done that 4 times this week, right? I am my own worst student, haha.

I have a general outline of my story already (I wrote a loose treatment several months ago), and even though there are large chunks missing, I know how it starts and how it ends. So I thought to myself, I KNOW this already, why do I have to do this exercise again?

But I sucked it up and set my timer for 7 minutes and started "This is a story about," going through the motions. Half-way through the exercise it dawned on me that I needed another character and started riffing about who this was and where she might come in. Before long... WHAM... epiphany! I knew exactly who she was, how she meets the protagonist, and why she's along for the journey.

(sidenote - I've read several adventure scripts where a side-kick / helper decides to come along on the journey but there's no motivation for them to do so. This drives me batty.)

The result? I've got material for a really good scene and solved the issue of my protag having an ally. And all because I started writing "This is a story about..."

Sometimes it's not about the particular exercise at all. Sometimes it just about writing. You won't discover anything new, unless you just KEEP WRITING.

P.S. WRITING... not editing, not reading over what you've written, not thinking about writing. All that happens in its own time. When doing those exercises, keep that hand moving.

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