Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Battle Begins: Getting Started

You'll never get comfortable with how uncomfortable the writing process is.

Wow, good job, H. That's about the most depressing way to start off your first writing vlog-blog. Well, hate to break it to ya', but it's true. Writing is the act of digging into our souls, pulling out our innermost demons, and battling them for all the world to see. Even after a lifetime of practice, those demons are still so personal, and so damn tricky to catch, we've got to go through hell to get them down on paper. But with study and practice, we can at least come up with a solid method for getting from "Abandon all hope ye who enter here" to "Yo, Charon! Lemme bum a ride!" (AKA: passing through the gates of hell)

Since writing is such a personal (organic) thing, we've got to approach it with the mindset that, unfortunately, there are no rules. There are methods, and the only way to wrangle one is to experiment with as many as you can find, then Frankenstein them together to form your own monster. This right here is my monster:

Every one of my stories began with inspiration hitting me like a wayward baseball, leaving a big ass bump on my head I couldn't quit poking. About the only way I'll get any peace is to jot down something the moment that baseball hits. If I'm out on the town, I turn to my handy-dandy notebook (which you should always carry) When I get home, I'll open my Google Docs, make me a folder under the baseball's working title, and open a new document called"Notes 1" (Why I call it "Notes 1" I'll cover in the next vlog-blog) Here, I'll copy my idea down to the "t".
And that's when things tend to get messy.

Most of the time, jotting down a few ideas ain't enough when I get that brand new world whirling in my head. In my latest project, I actually had to write down "Okay. Chill. Think about this tomorrow." Of course, it didn't work. Ideas were pouring out of me, and I didn't get to sleep until ten o'clock—the next morning.

Funny thing is, I only used a small portion of what I wrote down. That's the thing, though. Writing is organic, and once I plant that seed, I've got to let it grow like a weed. Yes. A weed. I have to let it get out of control. Why? Because this is where my story really starts to show a pulse. This is where it, not I, decides it's alive and what kind of life it will be living. I'll pound out anything and everything from what the current economic status the world's in, to the color of my main character's eyes. I keep writing, free writing, until the story starts to form itself. Eventually, that will turn into an outline.

Okay, I know I just made outlining sound like spontaneous combustion, but keep in mind, I'm acknowledging I'll probably use a small percentage of what I'm writing, and I've got no real commitment to what I put down—makes it easier for me to get it done. I'll get the story from A to Z as quickly, and vaguely as possible (a few short paragraphs I'll then take the main points of and turn into a bullet list) I'll let myself believe "this is how the story's going to go" only to get the confidence to start. Usually, my first chapter begins similar, if not exact, to my outline, but by the end of it, the story's already started evolving. And that's okay! Your outline is not your end all be all. Your story is your end all be all. 

I know I sound crazy, but I firmly believe that my story knows where it's going, it just sucks at explaining it. That's why it needed to hire a writer. So, when beginning a new story, there are two things I do: trust in the story (that it knows where to go) and trust in myself (that I can write it) Scary, I know. No. Terrifying. You've stepped into the underworld, and you're beginning your battle with demons that are still hidden in the shadows of your soul. But know that you're not alone. Your story is alive. It is your Virgil. Trust it, and it'll guide you through hell.

Okay, seriously, H., you are not doing a good job at the whole "warm welcome" thing. Yeah, well, writing's scary. Get over it. That's how you get started.

Current stats
Watching: Attack on Titan
Reading: The Ask and the Answer: Chaos Walking Book 2 by Patrick Ness
Playing: Nothing :( (too obsessed with AoT)
^^^What are ya'll up to? Comment below!^^^

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