uh. Maybe it was the Other Homer who said that.
I am heading late out of the starting gate for what promises to be a fascinating Creativity Workshop. Whether I make it around even the first lap remains to be seen, since I’m also competing in a totally non-related javelin throw elsewhere on the planet. (My sports analogies stink; I have a lot of non-related, time-sucking things going on now.)
Here is my first assignment on Issues and Interests:
Plodding Plotting: I can’t figure out how to get my main character, Becca, to have that ‘aha’ revelation that leads to her change/growth in a credible, lively way. And without being preachy. I have two sub-plots, which They (whoever They is) say is too many for a first-timer. One of my sub-plots, in the hands of a pro, should be able to flow into Becca’s space and help lead to her character evolution. But I haven’t figured out how to do that. I also have another sub-plot (my love story, and at this point, my fave) that might feel like an add-on until and unless I figure out how to mesh the story lines better.
Whatever, my plot lines are still boring and could use a massive infusion of creativity to hook a potential reader and keep him or her hooked. I am stuck in the middle.
Not only stuck in the middle, but I’m having problems with tone as well. Sometimes I try to be funny, sometimes serious. Can I blend these tones into the same work?
Producing, Producing, Producing: Not. I think Merrilee and Chris Baty are both right. I need deadlines. I wrote as much during November 2009 and National Novel Writing Month as I have in the five months since. I am just not getting it done. I could have called this section Focus just as accurately, perhaps more accurately, but I’m trying for some alliteration (which is another thing I believe They say is a turn-off).
Proving Myself Publishable: I sure could use some validation as a writer. Twelve short stories out of this workshop? And all I have to do is write them? Awesome! The road — at least my road — to a novel that’s remotely ready to submit for publication is long and littered with boulders and uprooted trees. But short stories? Maybe doable. I did have one short story published last year, and it was a real rush. So a goal of this workshop for me will include completing a set of (how many?) publishable short stories.
Pfftt… Time: Where does it go? ‘Nuff said.
I would like these elements to shine (or if not shine, at least show up occasionally) in my writing:
- Quirky but believable characters who grow in unexpected ways
- Unexpected juxtapositions of different backgrounds and experiences
- What-happens-next (?!?) plot
- Social justice without a heavy hand
- Simple yet lyrical language
- Ironic conflict — I’m not sure what this is, but I think I’ll recognize it if it shows up.
Many thanks to Merrilee for developing and hosting what looks like an exciting trip together! I’m looking forward to meeting my fellow travelers along the way.