Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ruminations on Writing Development, Part 1 of ?

Developing ideas into larger polished pieces of work, such as papers, articles, novels, short stories, etc. etc. can become some difficult work. I haven't yet reached a point where finished anything to my satisfaction in a long while. Poems, short stories, papers, anything published or shown to anyone as a finished project has happened for years and years.

The bulk of the difficult work on these types of projects comes down to the development of the ideas, I think. Coming up with an idea and entering the middle part of developing an idea probably comes as the hardest parts probably.

Something of a real difficult position is both trying to come up with an idea for a chapter or an article to support or explore an idea that's in the middle of development. Or how about when the development of a smaller idea affects the larger idea and/or vice versa. . .I've actually gotten so good at ruminating on all these ideas at once that thoughts about pieces within the range of the large idea affect the development of that idea, even when the said pieces won't enter the final presentation.

I've read here and there that this phenomena happens all the time. It just gets worded in a different way: not all the research or details will make it to the final product. Sometimes, it's even a good idea to keep quiet about any and all information until it becomes completely necessary to mention it for the good of the experience of the reader or viewer.

All the time and effort that goes into developing any and all of these ideas just makes me think that writers must be underpaid. That's when I remind myself that I have yet to get published or paid directly for my writing. Once I cut my teeth and get the attention of a good, successful writer, then I'll start to see the profits of all my work. I'm sure J.K. Rowling would agree.

So, in the beginning it comes down to inspiration (anyone want some light) and in the middle, the development requires patience (or you can always just drown the work because of its wickedness then start all over). What is it that they say about inspiration? I don't know the popular phrase. . .but it can be easy, and it can be hard.

The original inspiration for my novel came pretty easy (but then again, I was teenager, and I'm starting to think that inspiration comes easier during that age than the patient development part does). I started with a short story that I started during random times in high school and at home, when I had nothing better to do.

Sure, it was pretty derivative from the utopianism genre, but I pretty much just grabbed random, ruminating floating ideas and put them down on paper. From there, I started writing the end and the beginning of the novel. The beginning stays the same with some small details changed here and there, that middle part has pretty much been excised and the ending will have a similar touch to it.

I've also been writing story ideas into my Palm whenever they pop into my head. Sadly, though, those ideas come fewer and farther between as time goes on. I like to think they've become rarer because most of my time and attention has been focused on the insurance job (wherever it is) and other adult worries. If it has to do with age, I'm soooooo screwed.

But right now, the novel has started feeling like drudgery. Knowing that I'll be changing details around (nothing major, mind you. . .mostly just continuity issues, bringing some character details more out to the light and also playing around with actual point of view and narrative issues) may have to do with this feeling.

I've told myself that even with all the changes I plan on making, I still want to write this 1st draft in a pretty linear fashion. I mainly want to get the story out, but I'm also finding that his fashion also makes for good "research" into the characters. When some of the characters spend most of their time in a virtual world that has a user interface much like a PC of today with the processing power of tomorrow (an indefinite tomorrow, at that!), however, writing can get a little tedious. It especially feels so when the big dictum is, "Show, don't tell."

Well, I have to do what I have to do.

And right now, I think I have to get to bed. Getting sleep helps some with the inspiration and development side of things.


I may have entered an upswing on my mood. Good day at the job, but that's all contingent on circumstance and different peoples' moods to be honest. A fair amount of good work and chores got done when I got home, though.

Wrote a page in the novel (written but in my small handwriting which somehow translates to more pages than I've written) when I meant to only write half a page, wrote a thank you card, played around with a thesis statement and the next concept in an outline for the last paper 1st draft, did tons of dishes, watched some TV with the wife and a lot of random stuff that I don't know how I fit into such a small amount of time.

Somewhat feels like a return to the golden days when I had tempted at Fannie Mae, but I won't harp on that part too much.

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