Wednesday, April 8, 2009

When Writing is Easy

"Writing comes more easily if you have something to say." -- Sholem Asch in Writing Quotes of the Day on Mike’s Writing Workshop.
Contrary to popular opinion -- mine -- I don’t always know what the “something I have to say” is until I’ve written a few drafts of a story. The final version of Alone ended up close to what I wrote in the first draft. The beginning and end of My First Love were similar throughout various drafts, but the middle changed a few times. I mentioned problems I was having with a recent story in previous posts. The story idea started with four teens arguing about what to do after one of them ran over a waitress in a restaurant parking lot. I wrote four “first drafts” of this piece. Each started in a different setting and from a different point of view, but none of them worked. The final story is about two teens running away after the girl's raped by the main character’s father. (Don't ask me how I got from a parking lot to two teens running away on a bus.) Once I got to the point that I knew what the “something” I wanted to say was, and knew who was going to help me state it, the writing was easy.

5 comments:

AVR said...

I think that is what happens, you start with one story idea(s)then you end up with something totally different. I have read that sometimes your story "writes" itself and you should just go with whatever you are finished writing at the end.

By the way, have you attended the NC Writers Conference? They have one in June and November.

Jim Harrington said...

Often my stories write themselves, or the characters do.

I haven't attended the NC conference yet. I can't make the one in June. I'll check out the November one.

latisha said...

love this. i read something about writers needing to 'compost' their ideas to get to the meat of what they want to say. so important.

Jim Harrington said...

Compost. I like that, and it fits some of my stories. They stink! :)

latisha said...

ahh but without compost you cant grow beautiful things.