As a child, did you ever play pretend? It’s the ultimate use of the imagination. At some point along the way many people stop playing pretend and enter into the world of reality. Their focus turns to something else. That’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with that. For authors though, the pretending doesn’t stop. We like to play pretend. It’s how our books get written.
When I was a child, I loved to play make believe. I daydreamed a lot (to my teachers’ angst). As I grew older, the thought of writing stories and poems became my focus. I had much to learn about the writing process, but I didn’t let it stand in my way. You shouldn’t let that stand in your way either. Learn it, use it, keep it. Never lose that hunger/passion within you that wants to write. Write for your pleasure and to make others happy. AND, above all else, KEEP PRETENDING.
The Tight Rope of Story Telling
We write and we edit. We try to get the story on paper or the computer screen, then we go back when we’re finished and edit what we’ve written. That’s how it’s supposed to be done anyway. Does that always happen in that order? No. Not always. There are times when we try to edit as we type. The left side of our brain wants to insert itself at the same time our right side of the brain is trying to be imaginative and creative. This process can cause you to slow down when you’re trying to come up with a story.
Let’s say you’re a paragraph into writing a scene. So far you like it, but then the analytical side of your brain (left) is saying ‘No, no. That won’t work’. You go back and rewrite parts of that paragraph. You like what you came up with and move on to the next paragraph. You’re a couple of sentences into the second paragraph when your analytical side starts rethinking what you rewrote in the first paragraph. So, you go back and look at it but aren’t sure how you want to fix it. You end up sitting there thinking. Your fingers start strumming on your desk and you lean back in your chair and stare at the ceiling. An hour later you haven’t fixed anything, nor have you moved on with your writing. Had you waited to fix what your analytical side of your brain wanted to fix, you would have been MUCH further on in your story. You may have even gotten a chapter done.
How many of you can relate to the scenario above. I know it’s happened to me at times. So, how do we turn off the left side of our brain and make its impatient self wait? It’s quite easy actually. You make it wait. Turn it off. If you don’t like something you’ve just written, make a note of it so you can go back at a later date and fix it when you’re not writing. Choose a specific day and time when that’s all you’re going to do is edit and fix.
Loosen the “rope” when you’re creating and “tighten” it back up when you’re editing.