Slow and Steady

I’ve been busy these past two weeks working from home. I’m usually torn between enjoying the luxury of being able to work at home and disciplining myself to work at a steady pace without distractions. It’s not always easy. The truth is sometimes I like distractions, sometimes I hate them, depending upon the particular distraction. I’m fickle, I suppose, but I can be whatever I want. Right?

The good news is, I’ve been steadily increasing my word count on the novel I’m writing without letting it interfere with my “other work.” Yay me! Mind you, some days I’m not making any huge big strides but a few hundred words here and there add up over time. Sometimes it’s a matter of stealing a few moments in the early morning. I like waking early. I seem to accomplish so much more when I do.

I’m not really a slow and steady person by nature. I’m more of a jump-in-there-get- going-get-done kind of person, but I think this pace has been good for me. We don’t always need to do things the same way every time. That’s how we get stuck in ruts. I don’t like ruts either. They’re sneaky. You fall into them gradually over time and before you know it you’re living in that rut without a clue that you’re even in one. You’ve got your head in the clouds and you’re belting out Abba tunes. La..La…La…

Human behaviour is strange sometimes. I’m always amazed at how quickly I can see these things in others but not myself. To see them in myself I have to look mighty close, maybe even admit a thing or two I don’t necessarily want to. It’s all part of being human. No sense beating ourselves up over it, just make a commitment to do better the next time.

So here’s where I am at the moment. My usually Monday and Thursday posts didn’t happen last week, and likely they won’t for the next month. My goal it to blog whenever I can. Hopefully, the month of December will find me back into my routine.

Let me Streeeeeeeetch Your Imagination a Little:

As a writer, I like to stretch my imagination. For me, this sometimes means looking at life from both sides of the coin. I like to analyze people’s behavior, determine what motivates them. I like to step inside their shoes, try them on for size, and be that person for a brief moment in time. I like to forget my opinions on subjects and think about how someone else might view the exact scenario. We all see life though a different set of eyes. Writers often speak about wiggling inside the skin of their characters, becoming them, breathing and laughing, feeling their emotions, understanding what their reactions to life’s circumstances are. One of the most important qualities a writer can posses is the ability to become that other person, to view them as people( take them or leave them) without passing judgment. Our characters can not always be the people we’d like them to be. Not if we want to write stories that keep our readers turning the page. Characters who are too good, too perfect are good for little more than putting the reader to sleep. We all have faults, some of them big, some little, but they are there nonetheless. And these faults that we seem to despise in other people, we love to read about. It’s interesting, what can I say?

Remember when you were a child and played make-believe?  Perhaps you took on a specific role to play. Were you a character who was looked up to? A villain perhaps? Did you act out scenes? Did you become angry and upset over some of the perils your character faced? Did you feel those emotions for yourself? Were they real?

I can vividly recall those feelings of anger, frustration, hurt, happiness as the character I was portraying in my games went through a series of life altering events. Who knew imagination could be so strong or evoke such emotions?  But our characters can not always chime out our own preferences or opinions, they can not view the world the same way that we do, or else we’re simply creating characters that mimic ourselves. Little mini-mes, if you will. I tend to think that would get a bit boring after awhile. I’ve got news for you all; I’m just not that interesting, seriously. So quite often I like to take a reverse role and try to imagine life through the eyes of someone totally opposite from myself.

This was partly the reason why I asked the questions I did in last week’s post, Cast Out the Writing Sob. I was hoping to have you reverse roles and view this subject from someone else’s point of view. Just because I don’t believe myself to be a writing snob, I was curious as to whether or not someone else might see me as one. Is it possible, I wondered? I have a awful lot of non-writing friends who maybe don’t understand why I have a blog or why self-promotion is pretty much a given once you’re a published writer. Maybe they see all these things as simply bragging on my part. Hey, you never know! Then again, I was also thinking (I  tend to do a lot of that sometimes) that perhaps the non-writing community can relate to what we writers go through just a bit more than we writers give them credit for. I received some great replies. Thanks! You’re all awesome and so very articulate. I love throwing out tough questions to you all, challenging you and asking you to stretch your imaginations.

So, I hope you don’t mind if I ask you to stretch your imaginations a bit by asking some tricky questions from time to time. I really like what you all have to say.  While I won’t admit to being nosey, I’m always curious as to what your thoughts are, not just my own.

Do you enjoy a good challenge and the chance to streeeeeetch your imagination? Or do you just enjoy life the way it is?

Working Overtime

These past few weeks I’ve been working overtime, deep into revisions. As I’ve been working away my mind had been fluctuating between words of praise for what I’m doing and words of, “Will I ever get it right?” I’m not what I would consider a perfectionist by any means and when it comes to writing I’m the one I’m aiming to please. When it sounds right I’ll know it. Do you get what I mean?

I’ve noticed I’m a bit impatient by times. I’m willing to work hard at my writing but I expect results after a certain number of attempts. I mean, how many times can you rewrite a paragraph before you realized it was better five or six drafts earlier. Yes, you can over edit. I know. I’ve been there.

But the story I began with is transforming, there’s no other way of putting it. It’s amazing how a story’s plot line can remain basically the same and yet the story itself can be completely different. That just right “voice” is what makes the difference and can change a story from mediocre to simply stunning.

I’ve switched some of my paragraphs to first person accounts and really like the results. I like writing in first person. I’ve always felt comfortable there. First person allows the writer access to feelings and thoughts that we might not otherwise be able to show our reader. I’m really big on getting to the heart of people’s emotions, finding out what really makes them tick. For me, this is easier to do while in first person.

I find human behaviour to be quite fascinating, why people think and do the things they do. What gives them their “flaws.” (Not sure I care for the word flaw as it indicates that we all must follow a certain behaviour pattern to be what society considers “normal.” ) Lets just say I like to read about interesting characters. I like the idea that almost everyone, despite these “flaws” has some redeeming qualities. Sometimes knowing the motives behind their actions makes them feel a bit more sympathetic. Hey, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. But then I’ve been told I have my head in the clouds!!

So here’s where I’ve been lately, deep in revision land and it’s really been keeping me busy. It feels as though the end is quickly coming near but that could just be me with my head in the clouds again. Regardless, it’s a good feeling and I don’t mind working overtime at it. At least I can admit, that for the most part, I’ve been enjoying the process.

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 239 other followers

  • Follow Laura Best on WordPress.com
  • Laura Best

  • Blog Stats

    • 81,075 hits