Saturday, June 15, 2013

In That Moment

Don't wait to write.

Write In That Moment.

Yes, I know what you are saying. Nobody writes in the moment. You have to wait for that moment. You must wait to be inspired. Well, sounds like a bunch of B.S. to me.

Why, you ask?

Well, because lately I've been reading Hemingway's A Movable Feast, an account of his early days writing in Paris. I'm beginning to see what he was talking about. Let's say you've got a scene in your head. Doesn't matter what story its for, just bare with me for a second. You know you have a scene in your head right this second. It's been one you've been toying around with for a while. One that you've been putting off because you don't think it's fully developed yet. You have to wait for that golden moment when everything makes sense and not one shred of it is tainted by clumsy dialogue or wooden prose. Am I right?

Well, would you do me a favor and write that scene right now?

Don't worry.

It may seem difficult at first but, before you know it, that one seemingly innocuous scene will come to life. Your characters will start moving around, talking to one another. The plot will veer in stunning directions you hadn't thought of yet. It will be like alchemy when the lead finally turns to gold. And it will all be due to the fact that you took five minutes and just wrote that one scene down.

I'm not talking out of my rear over here. It's been happening to me too. Every day, in fact, I find that I get a small glimpse of a scene in my head and automatically whip out a pad and pen and start jotting something down to see where it goes. Nevermind that it's not part of the short story that I'm writing. Or that it is a scene three books down the line. The point is that after it is done: you will have something written. And the goal to writing consistently is to have a lot of stuff written

Hemingway comments on how he would write things until he felt empty. Then, in time, he would feel his metaphorical writer's well of ideas filling up again. So, you see, if you are a writer who wants to write. Just write. Your well will always fill back up again and you'll have more stuff written.

(P.S. I tried it again tonight. This whole write-when-you-get-a-scene-in-your-head routine and it paid off. I got about 2,000 words out.)


Indigo said...

So true. I've been getting glimpses out of nowhere, dialogue a character uses in an obscure chapter or a one or two sentence curve. Stopping to write down that little tidbit is all it takes to make a particular scene unfold. (Hugs)Indigo

Rob said...

I know what you mean, Indigo. I love it. It's like unearthing a lost artifact except that instead of a brush to reveal it we use a pen. :)

become an author said...

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