forcing the issue
I claim that I can’t “force” a story onto the page until it is ready to be written. I’m sure you see that for the bogus rationalization it is.
Sure, my stories do need to accumulate critical mass before they will fall together, and I’m often still finding things that fit perfectly in stories long after I’m sure they’re finished, but too often I use these parts of my process as a way to not put out the effort of actually writing. Rather than sweat blood by typing words onto the screen, I assure myself that I need the story to “cook” longer, and I make a blog post instead.
Not so right now though. I’ve had a story idea, which I’m tentatively calling “Superman,” knocking about in my pointed little head for a while. I’ve been accumulating notes for it, bits of dialog, ideas for development, and such in a Word file, as is my usual practice. And vigorously avoiding the actual writing, which is also my usual practice. Not any longer.
Despite not have a clear direction for the story’s development, I’ve been writing it. “Forcing” it out of my head and onto the screen. I’ve managed to put down more than a thousand words of this unformed story, which seems like a good thing. Actually, it’s helped me see my way through the mess of ideas and half-thought thoughts to a coherent story. The train may still derail, but at least I can see the tracks.
And I’ve found something else. In that Word file of notes and ideas for this story are a bunch of notes and ideas that no longer fit, but they do look like a coherent set of materials for a another story. It’s a story idea that’s been knocking around in my brain a little lately as well. Actually, it was never much more than a clever (if a little bit naughty) title, but all of those spare notes for “Superman” dovetail with it nicely, and I’m beginning to see the critical mass for it coalesce as well.
So my writing-avoidance rationale has doubled down on me. By not writing but merely making notes, I’ve accumulated enough notes for two stories that I need to write. I suppose it’s time to get back to work, right?