Monday, May 26, 2008

Chip, Chip, Chip...

I write fiction. Not as seriously as I once did - I was going to try to make a living at it for years - but still pretty regularly. There are some novels floating around, a solid stack of short stories, and some poetry that sucks as poetry but might work as song lyrics, despite lacking a single rhyming couplet amongst them. I try to write a little of something every day, and don't count blogging, because it's really not the same at all.

In any case, I've been working on a story for a few months, and though I love the characters I'm writing (we're old friends) and I think it's working well, I'm blocked.

So I switched over to the typing-in and reworking of a novella that's been kicking around in my head and in longhand for years, thinking that changing subjects and tenses might help. No dice, even though it's a favorite of mine. I'm just typing words without substance, using a cheese knife to chisel a life-sized hunk of mind-rock in my way. So. Frustrating.

I've never found anything that really lifts a block, and I think it's part of why I gave up the idea of being A Novelist. Having to work around or through or over these patches would drive me crazy - especially as the work I produce when I'm trying to work through is so bad. I mean, some people write mediocre copy when they're blocked, and it can be tweaked and reworded a little and it'll fit right in with the rest of the ms. I, on the other hand, have a habit of producing absolute shit if I'm not in the right groove. Shittier than the poetry, even, and that's saying something. It's so demoralizing to think that I can't produce better, and it's what did in my nascent writing career when I had plenty of time and persistence to pursue publishing.

Ah, well. It'll break, or it won't. I'll still get to that novella, and there's enough in the new story that it could be incorporated into an extant novel if it doesn't work out on its own.

And who knows? Maybe I'll ask for a Writers' Market for Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. "Making Shapely Fiction" by Jerome Stern, is my go to block killer.

    Writing exercises, in my opinion, generally suck. And his are really no different. HOWEVER, when you are stuck, use the character to do his shapes and you will usually be able to write through it, around it, and find your answer. It really does help. I've recommended it to other writing friends and they've had the same success.



Gimme some eggs for my bacon!