I realized earlier that it’s been about a week since I last posted something. I think a lot of people can sympathize with me when I say: it’s annoying when life gets away with you. This last week happened to be especially crazy- but that’s just life! Crazy weeks are not those random, ugly items in stores that are never bought, and only when they’re piled up in the clearance section are they at all tempting. Crazy weeks- or days or whatever the case may be- is just life. And- essentially- life is something that barges in on your normal existence and drags you out to do it’s bidding.
At least that’s what it’s like to be a writer. I’m busy imagining new stories and creating worlds and separating characteristics. For me, I tend to think of my life as being whatever I’m writing (obviously with other exceptions) and so it’s quite confusing when normal life intrudes. It’s so easy being selfish!
So anyway- yes, I need to figure out how to balance normal life with my writing life. I wish I could come up with some brilliant solution to this problem, and I wish all those conferences and books and things that are supposed to help you balance your life with your career (whatever that may be) worked. But, frankly, the solution to this problem is clear and you don’t need books or conferences. Basically: you have to make sure you do normal life, and you have to push to do your career. As it so happens, this time I didn’t get to my blog until today- when it’s practically tomorrow and (no offence intended) I’d rather be editing my story. Ah, normal life.
Of course a part of the reason why I haven’t come here sooner is because I couldn’t figure out what to talk about. Now something has come up, and it conveniently has to do with the subject I’ve already covered- life.
As the title of this post implies, I can get carried away, and the subject is about being carried away. I’ve already talked about getting carried away by the craziness and confusion and weariness of normal life- it’s amazing what 2 days of babysitting will do, followed by financial disappointments and then a day when I can do whatever I want (meaning I more or less don’t do anything at all). Now I will talk about getting carried away with my writing life, which- as any writer can understand- is entirely possible. In fact it’s so easy to be carried away by writing life, on so many different levels, that it’s ridiculous!
In this case, I fell for the all too convincing notion that a few simple ideas for a story make up the story entirely. Often my case is that I have a scene or atmosphere or idea in my head, that eventually connect to other ideas or scenes or atmospheres, and they connect to other things and characters and names come up and then you think you’re ready for your next Camp NaNo story. That’s not true at all!
I have a storyline in my head. Yes, it’s gone as far as that. It’s not just an idea of scene anymore- it’s a storyline, a sketch. And in a way I feel that I’ve covered the most important ground. But I need a plot! If I start writing now, without a plot- at least without anything more than a typical, uninteresting plot- then this novel I have in mind won’t go anywhere.
So, that’s a problem I have to deal with. And suddenly it’s kind of scary. The story I have in mind so far is interesting enough, realizing I still need to add something to it that’s quite essential is a little frightening. I feel as though I’m working on a painting, just the basics, and it looks perfect. But I need to add stuff to it to make it the masterpiece it could be- it won’t be extraordinary until it’s not just perfect but also complete. But if I add the wrong things- it could be ruined, at least for me.
So I guess what I have to say is this: be careful of being carried away, whether it’s in normal life or in writing life. Admittedly it can be fun. There’s nothing so exciting as having new ideas connect to your theory and putting in some amazing revelation, and then coming up with interesting characters to experience all of this- all before you even come up with an actual plot!
I often get e-mails from Writer’s Digest offering various classes. Sometimes they have classes for creating plots. Unfortunately I have to admit I am foolish enough to wonder how anyone would need a class for such a thing, something that’s essential for writing. Right at the moment, I think I want to take one of those classes!
So… back to finding a plot…