I’ve been working on being aware of the artistic side of writing – finding a voice for the characters, working a story that actually moves, finding a style and voice for my own writing… But it’s like everything I ever learned whilst studying English Literature somehow went in through one ear and out the other, as if I never even bothered with it and wasted two years trying to learn more about it. Right now I’m wondering how I actually managed to pass, because I clearly learned nothing!
I tried, I really did. But I got side-tracked again. I get caught up in circles of dialogue that (when I read it back) I realise don’t really end up going anywhere, or adding to the characters/ story. It’s annoying – I know better than that, in theory at least. Then I forget what I was trying to focus on and end up somewhere that I had no intention of going, and end up list in useless drivel that makes very little sense – in general and in relevance to the “story”. And with what I’m coming up with, I use that term loosely.
I went back and thought I came up with an interesting way of structuring the plotline. Then it went out the window as “stuff” just got generated instead, and I got caught up in other ideas and the word-count. I’m definitely going to have to back and look at it again – instead of trying to stick to plot and structure, I end up ridiculously over-emotional about the characters and end up dumping them in situations that are pointless, rather boring, and based solely in their own misery and confusion. Then it turns into a disorganised mess that takes another week for me to simply work out where to even start sorting it out. It’s not ideal.
I need to go back to the drawing-board and write up a new, more specific storyline structure that’s far more focused than what I have now. Maybe if I get more organised with what I want to do with it, I might actually get somewhere and be a little more productive. It would also help if I actively remembered and implemented all the points from studying the great works in English Lit and used them constructively with my own writing.
So, as an IT geek, I’m thinking notes, cross-references bullet-points and a whole lot of interesting and coloured spreadsheets… And I have also worked out that forgetting everything I learned in studying English is not a good idea when trying to write something that should be at least vaguely coherent.