Monday, August 23, 2010

How I Avoid Writing

When I've reached a block in storytelling, one of my favorite diversions is to organize.  I have two big writing binders: one of current projects and another of past.  The past binder includes dearly departed stories like the old Morgana chronicles (started by Erica, another friend, and me in the 8th grade) and the far bettter but still unfinishable Revenge (written by the three of us at a slightly higher level of talent).  Hundreds of pages of Arylle  ideas and drafts fill the front half of the binder.  Tucked in the back are drawings from days of olde when I liked to pretend that I possessed a modicum of artistic ability.  These also mark a period of my writing when I was so bad at developing character that I spent more time debating about what they wore than what they actually did.  The binder is rounded out in the middle with some old handouts from highschool with basic pointers on narrative techniques, the hero's journey, and word choice.

I purchased the second binder from Staples yesterday (there are few things in the world that make me happier than new office supplies).  For the  first time, I ordered and divided five years of notes for Aya's Wings and its tentatively-titled sequel Aya's Children.  The funny thing about reading over old notes is realizing how many ideas have fallen through the cracks over time.  Some of them might even be good ideas.  With me, though, this usually serves as a comfortable reminder that as cliche and melodramatic as my writing continues to be, it really is better all the time.  I finished this new binder with a section of 'Other.'  These are fragments of story ideas or prose that hasn't found a home yet.  My Dynesia ideas were stashed here, also.

This task took half of the afternoon, and perhaps it wasn't entirely useless.  I found myself thinking about my stalled plotline later that evening.  And I caught myself looking through a catalogue and imagining what Amarinne and Najerie would wear.



drea moore said...

Clothes can be important! I find asking "what do they wear?" followed by a "why do they wear it?" can lead to world building which will in turn affect plot development. Much meaning has been attached to clothing throughout history. Besides, our choices can reflect what we think about ourselves and how others perceive us. Which, because of the construction of labels without analysis of others' rationale, never match as well as we like :P Very applicable to story.

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