Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Working Backwards and Thoughts on Creating

(Reposted from 06/24/08)

JLY and I had some time over the weekend-- about 7 hours in a car, to be exact-- so we ended up discussing the last few chapters of SFA. Oddly enough, we mostly ended up working backwards. We know right now how the last two chapters go. We've known that for some time, so mapping out the ending was easy. Turns out that it's getting to those last two chapters that will be a bit tricky, but I'm optimistic that we can get there soon.

We've got this arbitrary goal-- like all of our goals, it's a combination of silliness and mild compulsion. We'd like to be done with SFA by 7/7/08. Which will be the 1-year mark for when we first began posting SFA. Aww. ^_^

On the other hand, that's a pretty aggressive deadline for us to meet. I can only imagine that the next two weeks will be busy. In thinking about all of this, I ended up reading an old entry in my diary about the scary side of writing. Because as fun as it is to write, when you're working towards something, and trying to be clever, you can't help feeling a little scared.

Anyway, here's an excerpt of the entry. It's over-dramatic, silly, completely rambling, and, since it's my journal, there's not much sense of grammar. Also, I've probably tipped my hand about how much I enjoy using an ellipses every other sentence... JLY would never let me get away with this in our professional writing. =)

"Writing is such a... strange thing. It can't be formulaic, so there's no real formula. It can't be repetitive or cliche, or draw too much on anything else, so while skill and craft help, they can only get you so far.

That's why, I imagine, we have the mythology of muses and inspiration, why there are books on how to write and writer's block... because writing is half magic and half miracle, and completely out of our control.

Maybe that's why many writers are insecure. Because as many times as we reach into the ether and pull back a story, we're worried that the next time we reach, there'll be nothing there... and that this part of us, this fundamental part, this power that we've somehow been handed, will be gone.

Because there's nothing so terrifying as that moment before creation-- that moment when there's Nothing, and you want there to be Something, and you stand at the edge of the abyss, reaching and reaching, and hoping, desperately, that this won't be the time when you come away empty handed.

I can say I've written a couple of good things in the past. I can say that I've been writing almost my whole life. But there's still that other half-- the half that has nothing to do with craft and experience, the half that's so elusive... the half that makes it fun and unexpected. It's that part that surprises and pleases you. The terrible moment of creating, where it starts to feel real. The part where it's magic."



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