Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Breath of Life

Oh dearie me. Between Camp NaNo, dial-up internet, and the new Blogger formatting update, I haven't been able to post nearly as regularly as I properly should. My apologies.

Now that we have that all out of the way, let's get into the thick of things.

We're writers. That term means so much more than someone that writes any more, though. A writer has to be an editor, beta reader, marketing specialist, and quite often a soothsayer in today's market. All of that incredibly important stuff--estimating word counts, thinking about markets, writing professional synopses, et cetera, ad nauseum--leads to one thing.

Death.

The death of your creativity. Unless you're already under contract and have to stay within a certain word count limit, chuck that out the window. If you're already thinking about markets, fine: think about them, write them down, and move on. And lord only knows what could potentially change, so why bother trying to write a synopsis, or a cover letter, now?

That creativity that these wonderfully important things stifle takes the form of character quirks, subplot twists, allegory--all of the things we worry so hard about putting in to begin with. If you let everything go and allow the story a little room to breathe--it doesn't take a lot, I promise--you'll realize something. You already know what you're doing. How many books have we read, shows have we watched, movies have we seen? Plays, operas, skits--they all taught us by osmosis what needs to go into a story.

Just a little breathing room. Try it. If you don't like it, then feel free to abandon the idea entirely. It won't hurt me.

Voss