The Wayfarer (mnfaure) wrote,
The Wayfarer
mnfaure

More than one way to put the pieces together

In a recent entry, I bemoaned the rigidity of my writing brain. I talked about using a different POV to convey info, but I wasn't clear because I don't want to bore people with specifics. What I meant to say was this:

I have a few characters in the same location right now, and two of them (Srila and Qeoe) have had some similar experiences. That means they can be used to show some of the same events in this world. Obviously. My realization was, given their common past, I could pass some bits of Srila's cut scene to Qeoe to expound upon.

In rewriting, I had found a new way of saying something from Srila's POV that fits well with her goals. However, I still liked the previous version because it gave a bit more insight into the world as well as her personal pain. I could not fit it into the flow of her revised chapters, though; and by time the POV came back to her, it was too late. I thought my only choices were to cut it or squeeze it into something that was already working. Naturally, I decided to kill the darlings.

Until the realization struck.  Qeoe lived through the exact same experience, and even though her loss was not quite the same as Srila's, it makes total sense to give some more backstory and setting from her point-of-view. Flavoring the whole and revealing her character through her pain and memories.

And that's the thing: It makes perfect sense, so why didn't I have the sense to see it earlier?  Why do I waste precious time shoehorning words and ideas into whatever form they first occured to me? Why does my brain not search out more creative ways of making connections and shifting either prose or ideas? Is it because I'm more in love with the "prose" and see it before the "idea" it is meant to convey?  Maybe.

As I've said before my imagination doesn't seem to work like the majority of writers, i.e, I don't see storymovies in my head that I then transcribe onto screen/paper. Characters don't hang around and talk to me. They may be persistent but never in a direct, "Hey, writer, it's me! Write my story" way. I see a (still) picture, I pull an intriguing line or story idea from thin air (in other words, I *tell* myself; I don't hear an Other "voice"), or ask myself questions about something interesting I've seen or heard in RL or fiction. Then I accrete a story. Slowly. Making it real as I go along.

Can a writer change the way her imagination works? I don't know. I do know that in writing, we discover modes of work that fit for one project but not another. So far, I've never had a different way of a story occuring to me. I have tried to "see" a movie in my head, tried to meditate and "meet a character" or "play out a scene" in my mind's eyes. It always sputters and fizzles. Immediately. I get frustrated and then move on. I can pretend to be a character and write something in 1st person and get some good info. But I do not see any kind of action streaming through my mind.

To go back to the accretion thing. If I'm slowly growing a story, like a statue, it makes no sense to me to build it (or partially build it), take a hammer to it, break it into pieces, and then cobble it back together and call it the same story. This must be the crux of my block. But I have too much of an achy head to continue with it, much less to reread if this makes sense.

Any thoughts?
Tags: shaking the magic 8 ball, that thing called writing, witherwilds
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