Dec. 8th, 2016

resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] monanotlisa asks: What's the hardest thing to write for you, and how do you get around it and yet write it?

Word by word, sentence by sentence, even paragraph by paragraph, I find writing very easy. On top of the usual ways that writers get educated, I was also a journalism major in college, which means I spent hours, literal hours, doing nothing but re-wording a page full of sentences to improve their parallel structure.

But I find it incredibly hard to make things happen.

Left to themselves, my characters want to sit in vaguely drawn rooms and have conversations. Or sometimes my narrators want to describe things. In depth.

This is especially a problem when the story in question involves any sort of worldbuilding. I've built a world; the most fun thing I can imagine is to let some characters just go wander around in it, picking things up and looking at them. You remember in "Groundhog Day" the montage where the Bill Murray character just experiments with the terms of his curse? Tries things that ought to kill him, and wakes up the next morning ... learns what everybody in town is doing so that he can catch people who fall? My writing wants to be nothing but that montage.

And I'm afraid that the only way I can write meaningful conflict is to make a great slog of it. It takes forever for it to come to life and flow -- while I'm waiting for that to happen, I have to write hundreds, thousands of words that are like walking in knee-deep mud, knowing that once the life finally comes into the thing I'm going to have to go back and rewrite all that sloggy stuff to make it sound good. (I think this paragraph contains several contradictory metaphors, but what the hell. It's a good example of what I'm talking about.)

I'm sure there's a point at which I will have had enough practice that it will get easier, but it hasn't happened yet.

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