Day 1? Let’s See How it Goes

20 Jan

I scanned through some of my old bookmarks from various writing sites I’ve stumbled across. At the very least I found one link to a pretty decent article on where to begin. To my surprise, it’s not at the beginning. They emphasize writing in chunks and suggest a few ways to get past writer’s block in the arena of beginning to actually take down a piece of writing. Although I’m an outline person when it come to more ambitious writing, I found their advice pretty intriguing, and undoubtedly I’ll try to use one of their suggestions. Fluidity in writing ideas seems to be a point of contention for me, mainly because    I get a bit fixated on a certain idea and try to force the story into that idea. Sometimes this works, but 95% to 99% of the time it turns a good idea pretty flat.

In any case, this site is not so much an writing exercise than advice on writing. Not quite what I was looking for. So, I clicked my way over to reddit to scan r/writing, a reasonably good subreddit on the subject. Apart from general discussion of the writing process and some entertaining pictures, my quest was (relatively) fruitless. 

The first article I found, however, did make me think of a writing exercise my old creative writing teacher gave the class–observe a conversation and record to the best of your ability. Then, vet out the unnecessary language (the like’s, yeah’s, and uh-huh’s) to create a more literary, concise version of the conversation. Dialogue in literature, as he said, is both very little like real dialogue and very similar to real dialogue. It’s real conversation condensed. Another similar one he gave was to write a scene entirely in dialogue with one prompting phrase: “I’m leaving.” I actually found my first attempt at this exercise in an old binder, a melodramatic take on the starter. I figure I’ll give it shot again. Prepare yourself, this could be insane. GO!

“I’m leaving.”

“Oh.”

“I left the rent for this month, it’s uh, on the table.I didn’t want you to be…down and out, I guess.”

“Oh…I mean, prior warning would have been great.”

“What more prior warning did you need?”

“You know what I mean, come on. It’s not it’s been awful.”

“Not for you, maybe.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing–I”

“It’s not like it’s been any easier over here. I’m trying, okay, come on. And you never-you never ask!”

“Fair enough.”

“…I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay. Really.”

“No, I mean…I’m sorry.”

And time’s up. I just gave myself a productivity high five. Success! In Procrastination I stand triumphant. 

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