clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Watch Your Head

This week starts firearms deer season in my part of the world. At left is the Stormy Kromer I wear when out with Louis in the meadow. Never hurts to be a little safe even at the expense of some Elmer Fudd comparisons.

The head is a marvelous item for crime writers. There's the melon that we shoot, the grapefruit we bruise, the hangover we house all from this one delightful body part. If humans didn't have such a component, we'd have to invent it.

I'm grinding onward.

There's nothing like running down the path of a novel to make you think about short stories that didn't work. I've a pile of those and I'd bet all of you do as well.

We learn from shorts that don't work.

I don't know what we learn from shorts that work except how to eat a little better from cashing the check.

I seem to reach some clarity on project A when working on project B. I feel as if there is some form of the unconscious mind that must be free in order to arrive at the inspiration for creation - or more commonly these days - repair.

What I do know is that this sort of clarity comes increasingly from actually doing the mechanics of writing. Plotting, outlining, revising - all great tasks. However, it is the production of prose centered around character action and dialogue which seems to trigger the thinking on what might not have worked elsewhere, why, and how it might be corrected.

Sounds odd, doesn't it? It sounds odd that actually writing makes us better writers.

Okay, so it doesn't sound so odd.

I bet that a lot of us struggling through our various stories could benefit from a few tens of thousands of words more versus the puzzling that comes in the revision cycle.

I could be wrong. I've got a couple banker's boxes of "not quite right" here under my feet.

Take investment advice from someone who doesn't have a day job anymore.

Take writing advice from someone with those little award statues and a boat that says "first novel title."

I'm off to get there. Maybe not tonight, but soon enough. For now, fun with a draft. Remember: fun.

I like fun on adventures even if someone might be shooting in my general direction.

Wear the hat.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I like the hat! It's only like Elmer's in shape...I think his was plaid. :)

Interesting thoughts about the mechanics of writing providing clarity. I think you're right. It forces order on chaos...and first drafts can have a lot of chaos.

jack welling said...

Just as well about that hat. My foxhound Lou has a semi tame bunny in the north meadow. We're hardly hunting rabbits. They play a game of hop and go seek.

We do chase the cats hunting for mice. They have become our fox substitute complete with howling.