Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Clap-On, Clap-Off Writing

Oh the fickleness of light...

I read at least a hundred articles or more a month on writing. POV, knowing your character, endings, beginnings, middles, hooks, etc. Many of them, more than once. So why won't they stay in my head when I need them the most? Why can't I just take out the information I need when I need it, in order to fix my current wip problems?

Because I just discovered something... I have a clap-on, clap-off mentality when it comes to writing.

I can be struggling with a wip, unable to determine what's wrong with it, but knowing in my gut that it's just not right. Then, I'll read an article and suddenly, it's clap-on time. That light bulb moment when I get it. Angels are singing, marching bands are playing and all is right with the world. I mean I really GET IT! I understand what's wrong, why I'm struggling and then I fix that 'something'. Then what happens? Well, someone...I don't know who it is, but I'd sure like to smack them...claps and I've lost it again. I may even be able to keep the light on throughout a scene, a chapter or heck even an entire manuscript, but then, when I'm working on a new project...that light ain't shining no more.

I know learning to write well is an on-going process. People aren't born with everything they need to know to create that perfect manuscript. It takes time, effort and lots of practice before their craft is honed to perfection. But that beautiful, so elusive. Why can't it stay on longer?


JoAnn said...

Well, Christy -- my husband has insisted that we now use flourescent bulbs. They're dimmer, but they don't burn out as fast as incandescant. Not sure how that analogy is appropriate, but it sounds good!

I totally understand what you mean. Wish I could offer a solution.

MaryF said...

LOLOL!!! Love the metaphor!